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Friend of Life 





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Friend of Life 


Rufus M. Jones 



Copyright © 1958 by Elizabeth Gray Vining 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 58-11131 


Printed in the United States of America 


Mary Hoxie Jones 


To have lived for three years so close to the mind and spirit of 
Rufus M. Jones has been a rare privilege and an experience both 
stimulating and satisfying. It has also brought me into contact with 
many other persons, to whom I wish to express my warm apprecia- 
tion of their generous aid and advice. 

My thanks go first of all to Rufus Jones's daughter, Mary Hoxie 
Jones, who has given me unstinted help and encouragement. She 
has, in the first place, put at my disposal the wealth of manuscript 
material which came to light after her father's death. This includes 
letters, both to and from Rufus Jones, family correspondence over 
a long span of years, notebooks, calendars, photographs, manu- 
scripts of articles, addresses and books, and the unpublished Journal 
of his first trip to the Orient. This material, which was assembled 
and classified, first by Mary Hoxie Jones and her mother, Eliza- 
beth B. Jones, and then, after Mrs. Jones's death at Haverford 
in 1952, by Miss Ruth Hays Smith, is now housed in the Library 
of Haverford College, for restricted use. It includes also notes taken 
by Mary Hoxie Jones on conversations with her father during the 
years 1939 to 1948, and after her father's death with friends who 
remembered him, some of whom are no longer living. I am grateful 
also to Mary Hoxie Jones for permission to quote copiously from her 
invaluable brief biography, Rufus M. Jones, published in England 
in pamphlet form by the Friends Home Service Committee, London, 
1955. And not least of all I am indebted to her for her tireless will- 
ingness to answer questions of all kinds and to check points of fact. 

To Henry J. Cadbury I am grateful for a sympathetic and careful 
reading of the whole manuscript and to Lydia C. Cadbury for her 
translation from the German of the letters of Theodor Sippell to 
Rufus Jones. 

The Honorable Herbert Hoover was kind enough not only to 
see me and talk with me about his associations with Rufus Jones, 



but also to lend me the file of correspondence between himself 
and Rufus Jones from the Hoover Collection in Palo Alto, which 
supplemented those of the Rufus Jones Collection at Haverford 
and the A.F.S.C. files there. Mr. Hoover also read the chapter en- 
titled "Herbert Hoover and Friend Jones" and made valuable sug- 
gestions for the amplification and clarification of the complicated 
story of the negotiations described in it. 

To Clarence E. Pickett, who has read the three chapters concerning 
the American Friends Service Committee, and Douglas V. Steere, 
who read the chapter on "The Mysticism of Rufus Jones," I wish to 
express my appreciation, and to say that they are in no way responsi- 
ble for any discrepancies that may appear in those chapters. 

D. Robert Yarnall and George A. Walton, who accompanied 
Rufus Jones to Germany in 1938, most generously made available 
to me their diaries, notes, and personal letters written during that 
momentous expedition, on which I have drawn heavily for fact and 

To the Honorable Francis B. Sayre, for allowing me to quote 
his letter to Rufus Jones on the Truce of God, and to the many 
correspondents who wrote me about their memories of Rufus Jones, 
as well as friends and Friends in personal interviews who told me 
revealing incidents, I am profoundly grateful. 

During the month that I spent in England in 1957 the cordial 
welcome of English Friends and their varied assistance helped me to 
recover the atmosphere which surrounded Rufus Jones in his long and 
close association with English Quakerism. To Eric D. Cleaver, 
secretary of the Rowntree Trust, to the Wardens and Faculty of 
Woodbrooke College, with which Rufus Jones had an especial tie, 
to Miss Jean Rowntree and Mrs. George Crossley, daughters of John 
Wilhelm Rowntree, and to the late Barrow Cadbury and the late 
John S. Hoyland, I am especially grateful. In Marburg, Germany, I 
was fortunate enough to have illuminating conversations with Herr 
Theodor Sippell and Fraulein Hanna Happich. 

Miss Anna B. Hewitt, in charge of the Quaker Collection, Haver- 
ford College Library, has been a constant source of cheerful and 
able assistance, and Miss Muriel A. Hicks of the Library of Friends 
House, London, was helpful to me during my time there. 

To The Macmillan Company, New York, I am indebted for per- 
mission to make numerous quotations from the following books by 
Rufus Jones: Finding the Trail of Life, 1926; Pathways to the 


Reality of God, 193 i; The Eternal Gospel, 1938; The Flowering 
of Mysticism, 1939; A Small-Town Boy, 1941; New Eyes for 
Invisibles, 1943; The Radiant Life, 1944; The Luminous Trail, 
1947; A Call to What Is Vital, 1948. 

E. G. V. 


i South China, Maine 17 

11 Into the Quaker Stream 32 

in "A Grip on the Base of the World" 44 

iv Fresh Fields 56 

v A Meeting on a Mountain Top 64 

vi A Time of Digging Deep 74 

vii The Golden Age at Harvard 85 

viii Openings 91 

ix "Social Law in the Spiritual World" 102 

x Shaping the Course of Things i i 2 

xi The Quaker History Begun 125 

xii "The Spiritual Reformers" 133 

xiii The End of an Era 143 

xiv Low Gear 150 

xv "A Service of Love in War Time" 156 

xvi Herbert Hoover and Friend Jones 168 



xvn "Our Rufus" 184 

xviii Athens and the Holy Land 200 

xix "New Noises, New Calls" 208 

xx The Orient Again 224 

xxi Midwife to the Soul 237 

xxii After Retirement 245 

xxiii The Mysticism of Rufus Jones 249 

xxiv Great Occasions 263 

xxv South Africa 271 

xxvi Mission to the Gestapo 280 

xxvii The Vital Cell 294 

xxviii The Finishing of the Work 302 

Notes 317 

Books by Rufus M. Jones 331 

Index 335 


(following page 128 and page 160) 

Rufus M. Jones at twenty-two 

Rufus Jones's mother, Mary Hoxie Jones 

The old homestead in South China 

Peace Jones 

Sarah Coutant Jones 

Rufus Jones in 1901 

Lowell Coutant Jones 

Elizabeth B. Cadbury 

Rufus Jones in his study in Haverford 

Elizabeth, Mary Hoxie and Rufus Jones in 1909 

Mary Hoxie Jones in 1943 

Rufus and Elizabeth Jones in 1947 

Rufus Jones talking to students 

Friend of Life 

South China, Maine 

vJn the night of January 25, 1863, the village of South China, 
Maine, lay blanketed in snow. It was a beautiful village with its 
avenue of elms, its large, well-built houses, its violin-shaped lake, 
and it was remote and self-sustaining as no hamlet in the country 
is today. 

A light burned in the front parlor of Edwin Jones's house at the 
edge of the village facing the lake. A baby wailed his first cry. The 
village doctor delivered the child into the arms of his Aunt Peace, 
who, holding him, uttered words of prophecy: 

"This child will one day bear the message of the Gospel to distant 
lands and to peoples across the sea." 

"It was spoken," wrote Rufus Jones many years later, "solemnly 
and with a calm assurance as though she saw the little thing suddenly 
rising out of her lap to go." 

The baby was named Rufus Matthew; Rufus for a paternal uncle 
who had died the previous year, and Matthew for his mother's 
father. He came into a family that consisted of six persons: a sister, 
Alice, four years old; a brother, Walter, ten; his father, mother, 
grandmother, and Aunt Peace. 

On both sides his forebears had been Quakers for generations. 
Thomas Jones and his wife Thankful, who had come from Wales 
to Massachusetts in 1690, were probably Friends. Rufus Jones took 



satisfaction in the fact that "by a series of happy marriages" he 
inherited also the blood of four colonial governors of Rhode Island. 
Abel Jones, great-grandson of Thomas and Thankful, born in Bruns- 
wick and a member of the nearby Durham Friends Meeting, came 
to China Lake in 1803, when Maine was still a part of Massachusetts 
and China was called Harlem. The region around the lake had been 
sparsely settled by Quakers and Baptists thirty years earlier. Two 
years after Abel began to clear his first farm, Jedediah Jepson, a 
Friend of Irish descent, came from Berwick with his son and his 
young daughter Susannah. Abel and Susannah were married in 1806. 
First and last they cleared seven farms out of the wilderness, enough 
to endow each of their seven sons. To their youngest son, Edwin, 
came the house, built in 18 15, in which Rufus Jones was born. 

Susannah Jepson Jones, through her mother, Peace Robinson, was 
descended from the great John Robinson of Leyden, who said to 
the Pilgrims as they left Holland, "God has yet more light and truth 
to break forth from His word." "Grandmother Susie" was one of the 
pioneer women to whom the United States owes much of its char- 
acter and spirit. She bore eleven children and reared nine of them. 
She was cook, dairymaid, weaver, tailor, gardener, soapmaker and 
laundress, as well as mother, nurse, and, for many years, elder in 
the Friends Meeting. She smoked her long clay pipe three times 
a day — and she must have needed it. To her practical ability, her 
grandson testifies, was added "breadth of mind and depth of heart, 
and a culture whose source and origin nobody could explain." 

In addition she could remember in her old age the wilderness 
adventures of her girlhood and regale an enthralled small boy with 
stories of Indians, of moose, of herring-runs so thick you could 
walks across the lake on their backs, and the shooting of the only 
cow in the settlement by mistake for a deer. Born in the last year 
of the Revolutionary War, she was seventy-nine at the time of 
Rufus's birth, and she lived until he was fourteen. 

Peace Jones was Susannah's second daughter, Edwin's sister. She 
was forty-eight in 1863, and unmarried. A photograph of that time 
shows dark hair parted in the middle, under a white cap, beautiful 
eyes, full of wisdom and clarity, a sweet, controlled mouth, a serious, 
serene, strong face. Again and again in his books and articles Rufus 
Jones paid tribute to Aunt Peace and to the influence she had upon 
him, not merely through her words but through her radiant pres- 
ence in the household, her extraordinary understanding of him, her 


rare gift of insight. Long before he ever heard the word mystic he 
recognized its quality in Aunt Peace. He never ceased to marvel at 
the grace of manner, the wisdom, the cultivated mind of this woman 
who grew up in surroundings that were simple sometimes to the 
point of crudity. In 1900 he wrote of her to a friend, "She is a very 
finegrained soul, a pure exotic, quite unlike the native growth." 

Into this household dominated by two unusually strong women 
had come nineteen-year-old, red-haired Mary Hoxie — and had held 
her own. Rufus's mother was thirty in 1863, pretty in an honest, 
unaffected way, with a wide mouth, humorous, sweet, and sensitive, 
and big luminous eyes, a slightly turned-up nose. She was the 
daughter of Matthew Hoxie, a Quaker cabinet-maker of Albion, a 
village fifteen miles away. It was from him that Rufus got his blue 
eyes and light hair, and his humor. The Hoxies were of English 
descent, with possibly a French origin in the mists of time. There 
never was any question that Mary Jones was the mistress of the 
house, or that the reverence which her son gave to his Aunt Peace 
took nothing at all from his love and need of his mother. 

Of Edwin, his father, Rufus Jones wrote always with loyal affec- 
tion. "He was a straight, honest, faithful, rugged man who in his 
small round did his plain duty day by day and somehow managed 
to support our large family with his hands." Undoubtedly he had 
his peculiarities. He wore his overcoat all year round, in winter to 
keep the heat in, in summer to keep it out. His granddaughter, 
Walter's daughter, reports that he was "difficult." He would post- 
pone necessary work until it was almost too late, and then would do 
it all at once in a prodigious burst of energy. The report that he was 
epileptic seems not to have been true; in his youth he was subject to 
some sort of "fits," from which in later years he entirely recovered. 
Like Jess Birdwell, in Jessamyn West's The Friendly Persuasion, he 
had a keen eye for horseflesh and was a skillful driver, though it was 
on his annual visit to the County Fair, rather than in going to Meeting, 
that he urged his Morgan mare Fannie to pass all other carriages. 

Rufus Jones himself has told the story of his boyhood — "that mar- 
velous epoch between five and fifteen" — in two little books which are 
classics of their kind. Finding the Trail of Life covers the adventures 
of his spirit, A Small-Town Boy the environment in which he grew 
up. His literary style had reached a kind of perfection; clear, simple, 
flexible, warm, lighted by his inimitable humor and penetrating shafts 
of insight. He saw his childhood not sentimentally but lovingly; his 


memory was faithful to homely details as well as to the reaches of 
the spirit; and the picture that results is not of one family and one 
village alone, but a way of life in a vanished age. 

Out of such a wealth of material it is not possible to include all the 
threads that were woven into the fabric of his life, or even to sum- 
marize the whole. One can only select what seem to be the enduring 
influences, and attempt to trace, as he himself said an illuminating 
biography should do, "the springs and motives, the sentiments and 
loyalties which build character." 

The home into which he was born was unquestionably the determin- 
ing factor in the kind of man he became. Some men of genius are 
sports in their families, startling variations from the parent stock, but 
not Rufus Jones. One could not imagine him springing from any 
other plant. 

Outwardly, it was quite normal and ordinary, even a little limiting. 
The house was a large, plain, two-story frame house with a long ell 
stretching behind it to the barn. The farm which supported it was a 
small one, worked by Edwin Jones with such assistance as his growing 
sons could give him: there was no hired man. From the time Rufus 
was big enough to wield a small ax he helped cut wood for the 
winter supply; he drove the cows to and from pasture, and milked 
them; he helped with the hoeing, weeding, threshing, and haying; 
when it came time to work out the family road-tax, he was one of 
the troop with the plow and scraper. 

It was necessarily a hard-working, frugal household of busy people. 
There were others in the village who had more possessions and more 
leisure, but none who were more generous in hospitality. It was to the 
Jones house that a constant stream of Quaker visitors came — an average 
of one or more a week — and were made welcome in the spare room, 
regaled with the simple, abundant farm fare, which in winter consisted 
of carrots, potatoes, beets, and turnips from the cellar, salt pork from 
the barrel, cheese, baked beans, and pies made of dried apples. 

All of the family were deeply religious in the Quaker way. "I was 
not 'christened' in a church," wrote Rufus Jones in Finding the 
Trail of Life, "but I was sprinkled from morning till night with the 
dew of religion. We never ate a meal which did not begin with a hush 
of thanksgiving; we never began a day without 'a family gathering' at 
which Mother read a chapter of the Bible, after which there would 
follow a weighty silence." 

In 1945 Theodore Dreiser lifted this passage bodily from Finding 
the Trail of Life and incorporated it in his novel about Quakers, 


The Bulwark: "Solon and Cynthia Barnes, the children [of Rufus 
Barnes] never ate a meal which did not begin with the hush of thanks- 
giving, and apart from that, no day was ever begun without a family 
gathering at which Mrs. Barnes read a chapter of the Bible, which was 
followed by a weighty silence." Two other incidents from Rufus's 
childhood, which will be described later, were appropriated in the 
same way. 

Whereas Dreiser stopped with the "weighty silence," Rufus Jones 
went on to explain the meaning of that silence and its effect on the 
child he was. The fact that there was work pressing to be done on the 
farm, and yet, even so, time was invariably taken for this daily practice, 
impressed upon the boy the importance which the grown-ups attached 
to it. When occasionally the silence was broken by one or another 
speaking simply and quietly to God, he realized both the reason for 
the silence and the communion that was sought and experienced in it. 
Unconsciously he early acquired a conviction of the reality of the 
"unseen world impinging on his world of things" that he never lost 
and which became the basis of his mature faith. 

Twice a week the whole family went to Meeting. On Sunday and 
Thursday mornings the four-wheeled wagon with the buggy seat 
would be hitched up. The parents and Alice sat on the seat, the boys 
on the floor with their legs dangling over the side. After Walter, the 
eldest, was old enough to go away to become a carpenter, Rufus had 
Herbert, four years younger than himself, to sit beside him. In winter 
there was a warm soapstone under the buffalo robes. The road led 
three miles through deep woods to Dirigo Meeting, which stood on a 
hill from which the Kenebago Mountains, eighty miles away, could be 
seen on clear days. 

Meeting lasted two hours and was mainly silent. Even when he was 
so small that his feet did not touch the floor, Rufus understood the 
silence and fed on it. The spoken messages, when they came, varied 
widely. His father's message was always the same, something about 
"making a little heaven on the way to Heaven." That he expected and 
respected, but it must have been difficult to keep his bubbling laughter 
under control when an earnest Friend would rise week after week and 
declare solemnly, "The question isn't whether or no or not we darsent, 
no, not by no means." When Eli and Sybil Jones were there, however, 
it was quite different. Rufus was fired by Uncle Eli's gospel of valiant 
action and awed by Aunt Sybil's spiritual power. But they were 
recognized everywhere as two of the greatest living Friends and were 
often away from their Dirigo farm. 


Eli Jones was Abel's eldest son, twenty-one years older than his 
brother Edwin. He had married Sybil Jones of Brunswick, and in 1 840 
they began the series of religious journeys which took them first to 
Nova Scotia and later to England, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Europe, 
Greece, and the Holy Land, and resulted in the establishment of 
Friends schools in Syria and Palestine. They had five children, and the 
leaving them behind, in school or in the care of relatives, was fraught 
with anguish. 

Sybil Jones was considered the greater of the two. The "concerns" 
arose with her, and in the beginning Eli went along as her traveling 
companion. She had a beautiful voice, "like wind in the pine trees," 
and a rare gift for speaking; her message was always the overwhelming 
and penetrating love of God. Though she was never in robust health, 
her courage and determination carried her through the most strenuous 
travels. To her small nephew, as to countless others, she was a saint 
and a seer, but the modern observer studying her photograph — the 
intense brooding face within the frame of the Quaker cap — wonders 
if a gifted woman, restless with the pressure of unused talents, did not 
find in religious missions a glorious escape from the narrow confines 
of a small farm in the backwoods. 

Her husband Eli, strikingly handsome in a patriarchal way, com- 
pelled a respect and admiration perhaps less immediately obvious 
but more soundly based. To English Friends he was the ideal of an 
American Quaker, a forthright, simple farmer, whose natural dignity 
made him at ease and self -forgetful in any company, a self-taught man 
of intellectual stature and moral force, whose messages brought con- 
viction. John Bright recorded in his diary that Eli Jones had preached 
the greatest sermon that he had ever heard. At home, he carried his 
religious insights into practical action, laboring unceasingly for the 
cause of temperance, a better system of taxation for the town, and 
the support of the town library — or going to visit a sick neighbor. 

Sometimes there were visiting Friends from distant parts of the 
United States or even from England. The itinerant ministry was part 
of the genius of nineteenth century Quakerism. By this method, which 
had sprung up and been developed through two centuries, a religious 
society of scattered members without a central authority, a presbytery 
or a priesthood, was held together, instructed, and reinvigorated. A 
member of a Meeting, perhaps a recognized leader, or perhaps one of 
the obscurer Friends, would feel a concern to travel in the ministry. 
He, or frequently she, would bring this concern to the Monthly 


Meeting, which, after deliberation, would liberate the Friend to go, 
usually with an appointed traveling companion. It was all immensely 
serious, done with a profound sense of mission and often at consider- 
able personal sacrifice of time, money and strength. Aunt Peace had 
once gone on such a journey to Iowa and Kansas — very far away in 
the 1860's — and her return was one of Rufus's most exciting early 

In addition to the semi-weekly meetings for worship, there was also 
a monthly meeting. The purpose of this was to deal with the business 
affairs of the meeting, but since it is a fundamental part of the Quaker 
belief that religion and life are bound together and that nothing is 
really secular, the monthly meetings had nearly as much silence and 
fully as much moral and spiritual exhortation as the meetings for 
worship. Monthly Meeting, however, took place in the afternoon, and 
afterwards Friends were invited to farmhouses in the neighborhood 
for a bountiful supper. To the small boy, weary and hungry and stiff 
from two hours on an uncushioned bench, this was the high point 
of the day. It was moreover a cherished opportunity to play with 
Charlie Jacob, a beloved cousin of his own age, who lived at Dirigo 
and whom, ordinarily, he saw only at meetings for worship. 

There were few books in the home in which Rufus Jones grew up. 
"The Bible was our one book," he wrote, "and we used it as a scholar 
uses his library." This is not to be taken literally, however, for we find 
twelve-year-old Rufus paying his way into membership in the village 
library with a copy of J. G. Holland's Life of Abraham Lincoln 
which his father gave him for the purpose. Two other publications 
competed for second place in literary importance, the indispensable 
Farmefs Almanac, and The Friends Review, a weekly "religious 
literary and miscellaneous journal." One would think that there was 
little in this sober sheet for a boy, but the man remembered, "In my 
boyhood home it came next to the Bible and was eagerly waited for by 
young and old." As one leafs through the bound volume for the 
year 1873, the year that Rufus was ten and laid up with an injured 
foot for many months, doubtless willing to vary the Bible with news 
from the outside world, one comes on articles that would appeal to the 
eager and intelligent boy; articles on Meteor Showers and the Transit 
of Venus, on the sea (that still fascinating subject), on storms, or the 
past and future of Niagara, and other scientific plums amid the dough 
of religious discussion. Each week there was a summary of Foreign 
News. The King of Spain abdicated and a republic was proclaimed. 


Those in Alsace and Lorraine who decided to remain French were 
emigrating in great numbers. Britain declared her intention to protect 
Afghanistan against attack in case Russia annexed Khiva. The railway 
between Tokyo and Yokohama, the first in Japan, was formally 
opened by the Emperor. Quaker news also found its place, and Rufus 
could read here of "our valued Friend, J. Bevan Braithwaite of Lon- 
don," of Haverford College, and of John Greenleaf Whittier years 
before he was to meet all three in the life. The Friends Review was to 
play an important part in Rufus's career, and some of the threads of 
his later interests run through those volumes of the 1870's. 

It was a home of great moral earnestness. Once when small Rufus 
said something hurt "like the devil," his father said slowly, "Thee is 
never to use that expression again in thy whole life" — and he didn't. 
Duty was one of the foundation stones of existence. Aunt Peace de- 
fended the cause of truth by making Rufus return without reading 
the copy of Gulliver's Travels which he had borrowed from the 
library — he considered it, when he was sixty-three, the only mistake 
she ever made, though he accepted the ruling unquestioningly at the 
time. And yet in spite of occasional austerity it was a moral earnestness 
so natural, so inevitable, so attractive that all his life the effort to be 
good was to seem a beautiful thing to him. When he was thirty-seven 
he wrote to Elizabeth Cadbury, "I think there is nothing more beauti- 
ful in this world than a soul all aglow with the fire of resolve to be 
good at all costs and hazards." 

So many boys who have grown up in religious homes have later 
rebelled bitterly against religion — "I got enough of church when I 
was a boy to last me all my life" — that it is perhaps worth while to 
inquire why this did not happen to Rufus Jones. There was never any 
rejection of what he received at home, only a deepening of the roots, 
and a flowering of the seeds planted and nurtured in that early home. 

It was, for one thing, never in any sense professional religion, with 
all that that term implies of a front maintained with thought and effort 
and a relaxation behind the scenes. What was true in Meeting was 
true for every day. There was little talk about worship. "It was a 
religion which we did together. Almost nothing was said in the way 
of instructing me." It was not a narrow, rigid set of dogmas from 
which the developing mind reacts. God was an indwelling Spirit, not 
a "sky God." Above all it was a religion of love, "The life in our 
home was saturated with the reality and the practice of love. We spoke 
to each other as though love were ruling and guiding us." 

Rufus Jones records an instance of his mother's discipline that not 


only reveals his own normal boyish sins but sheds light on the quality 
of his mother and her sureness of touch. Though the story is told in 
Finding the Trail of Life, a more detailed account is given in a 
chapter he wrote in the year of his death for a book of "spiritual 

In this chapter he described the hot summer day, the turnip patch 
choked with weeds, and the task which his parents set him before they 
drove off to Augusta for the day. Along came a band of his young 
friends, carrying tackle and bait, urging him to go fishing with them 
on the lake in a boat. They promised to help him with the weeding — 
after they came back. It was late when he returned and with a pang 
he saw his mother watching his approach. 

"Mother in silence took me by the hand," he wrote, "and led me to 
my room. I knew what I deserved and expected to get it in full 
measure. But a miracle happened instead. Mother put me in a chair, 
kneeled down, put her hands on me and told God all about me. She 
interpreted her dream of what my life was to be. She portrayed the 
boy and the man of her hopes. She told God what she had always ex- 
pected me to be. And then how I had disappointed her hopes. 'O God,' 
she said, 'take this boy of mine and make him the boy and man he is 
divinely designed to be.' Then she bent over and kissed me and went 
out and left me alone in the silence with God. That was an epoch. I 
discovered then and there the meaning of grace — agape — not only 
in a wonderful mother but in the Heart of God." 

Such a Quaker home, enclosed, tender, guided, while not universal, 
was not singular or perhaps even very unusual, in its day. A number of 
Quaker journals of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries give 
similar pictures. But its day was passing as the world changed after 
the Civil War. "The Quakerism which was the atmosphere of this 
boy's life," wrote Rufus Jones, "has in a large measure already 
ceased from the earth. It was a unique type of religious life, and it kept 
its peculiar form only as long as it existed apart from the currents of 
the larger social whole." 

Outside of the home and all around it, was the village. Before the fire 
of 1872, which destroyed some twenty-two buildings as well as the 
avenue of glorious elms, it had been a beautiful village. Though rebuilt 
after the fire, it was never again so prosperous or so comely. The new 
houses belonged to a less happy period of architecture than those 
they replaced; maples grew where the elms had been. Though the 
Jones house was spared, they had some anxious hours while the waves 
of flames rolled closer and closer, and the small boy learned of the 


black squares on the checkerboard of life, and pondered the problem 
of evil. He knew that the fire was set by an evil man; for the first time 
he knew that good people had to suffer. 

Four roads met in the center of South China: the roads to Augusta, 
to Belfast, to Bangor, and to Damariscotta. But the highways of those 
days were narrow, hilly, and rough, and even the twelve miles to 
Augusta were formidable. The village was self-contained; it made its 
own shoes; there was a carriage shop as well as a smithy; before the 
fire there was a bank. Town meeting twice a year was a great event, 
and the issues were thrashed out for months before and after by the 
cracker-barrel philosophers in the grocery store. Rufus, going daily 
for the mail, lingered to hear them talk. He liked their salty humor, 
and he gathered up their stories. Sometimes the way home in the dark 
afterwards was made fearful by the tales he had heard of supernatural 
lights followed by sudden deaths. 

Still more interesting to Rufus was the band of village boys, of 
whom he was the acknowledged leader. More carefree than he, they 
waited for him to finish his chores, or would go with him to fetch the 
cattle from the pasture. A playground of infinite variety and adventure 
lay all around them: the lake for swimming, fishing, and boating in the 
summer, for skating and coasting in the winter — "No one who has 
not experienced it can appreciate the worth of a lake to a boy" — the 
woods, where they visited Indian camps still inhabited by actual 
woods Indians, the village itself, where they played "guard's clear," 
"truck," and other games in the back yards and barns. Play, he wrote, 
"is one of the greatest of the nurturing forces of group-life, and it 
contributes to health and sanity and joy to an almost unparalleled 

When he was past eighty, I heard him preach a Lenten mid-day 
sermon on the text that had been a favorite of his all his life. "They that 
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up 
with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall 
walk and not faint." "When I was a boy," he said, "I never walked 
if I could help it. I always ran — and usually along the tops of the 
fences." One can see him still, barefoot, thin and wiry, his yellow 
hair ruffled in the wind, his blue eyes alight, flying along the tops of 
the stone walls, followed by his yelling gang. "My group of boys, 
as we played together and did daring things together, helped me to 
build secretly and silently the hidden inner self which they very little 


It was an inner self immensely receptive to beauty. The stars, the 
lake in all its varied moods, the distant mountains, the migrating wild 
geese, the call of the loons at night, the swish of his scythe in wet 
grass, the sound of his ax in the snowy woods: all fell on his heart 
and filled it with delight. It was an inner world of imaginative fears, 
fear of the creatures that lived in the cellar and the attic, of strange 
lights and portents, fears never acknowledged outwardly, and over- 
come in the end by bold investigation. It was a hidden battleground 
of moral issues. 

When he was ten, he had one of the experiences that he termed 
"epoch." A stone bruise on his foot had turned into a painful abscess, 
and the doctor was summoned. Finding his lancet dull, the good man 
sent for the whetstone from the barn, and sharpened the blade before 
he opened the abscess. The foot promptly became infected and the 
infection spread up the leg. For nine months the active boy lay 
on a couch in the living-room, in danger of losing his leg, and, at first, 
in great pain and in danger of his life. 

Now he came to know the depth and tenderness of his mother's 
love, as she sat up all night with him that first week, holding the 
swollen and agonizingly painful leg in her hands, whispering words of 
comfort and encouragement. 

As time went on and some way of amusing him had to be found, 
he and his eighty-eight-year-old grandmother entertained each other, 
she by telling him stories of pioneer days, he by reading the Bible 
aloud to her while she knitted. They ploughed without skipping 
through the Begat chapters, Rufus dealing as best he could with names 
like Chedorlaomer; they delighted in the hero stories, and bogged down 
at length in Jeremiah. 

There was one time when the fear of death came close indeed. 
Rufus awoke to find the bone of his foot actually protruding through 
the flesh; he saw himself in rapid disintegration, and he wept aloud. 
Then Aunt Peace came to him. Acknowledging the dark moment, she 
assured him that it was only a tunnel in his earthly journey, from 
which he would soon emerge into the light. "And then with her 
prophetess face all lighted up with the warmth and glow of her 
vision, she said: 'This is not the end; this is the beginning. There are 
much better things ahead than behind. God is going to make thy com- 
ing days thy best days.' My fear vanished. My discouragement disap- 
peared. I was ready to live again. In her faith I found my own." 

To this prophecy was added that of a visiting Friend. James E. 


Rhoads, "a dear, saintly man, who was as graceful and courtly as 
though he had been a knight of Arthur's Round Table," was traveling 
in the ministry with Rufus King of North Carolina. They stayed with 
the Joneses, as visiting Friends usually did, and one morning when the 
family sat together in silence, James Rhoads suddenly rose, walked 
across the room, and laid his hand on Rufus's head. "In this crooked 
and perverse world," he said, "this boy will be a shining light." 

Years later, James Rhoads was President of Bryn Mawr College and 
Rufus Jones was one of its Trustees. Though they knew each other 
very well, Rufus Jones never reminded James Rhoads of this "extraor- 
dinary utterance," and Rhoads himself never mentioned it. But it 
had made a deep impression on the sensitive boy. "Nothing seemed 
more unlikely," Rufus Jones said, seventy-five years later, just before 
his death, "and yet I could not get over the feeling of that prophetic 
hand on my head." Together with Aunt Peace's prophecy and her 
earlier one at his birth, it gave him the conviction that his life had been 
spared for a purpose, that he had been chosen for a destiny which for 
many years remained hidden from him. 

This whole episode of the injury, the doctor's methods and Aunt 
Peace's prophecy appears in The Bulwark. The injury is described 
as having come not from a stone bruise but from a cut from his ax 
when the boy was helping his father with the wood-cutting. Here 
Dreiser borrows from another passage in Finding the Trail of Life. 
Rufus Jones wrote: "I began my trips to the woods in winter very 
early in life, going with father at first to ride on the sled loads of 
fire wood; then as soon as I could handle a small ax, I trimmed off the 
branches of the big trees which he felled, and I rapidly reached the 
stage when I could join in the splendid work of bringing the trees 
down. I still pride myself on being a skilled wood chopper with some 
of the craft of the expert woodsman. Here in the winter woods of 
Maine was beauty enough to feed any young soul and mine was full 
of joy over it." This appears in The Bulwark as: "He very early 
began to take trips with his father to the woods in winter to obtain 
an ample supply of firewood. At the very first, Solon went merely for 
the ride and to explore the woods. A little later, when he was old 
enough to handle a small ax given him by his father he was allowed 
to trim off the branches of the big trees which his father felled. How- 
ever, his growth in body and strength being considerable, before long 
he was allowed by Rufus to join in the, to him, splendid work of 
felling the beautiful evergreens of the snowy forests." 


In Dreiser's story, the boy's ax slipped and he cut his leg above his 
left ankle. The doctor came. "Having first opened and looked at the 
wound, which Solon's father had bound with his handkerchief and 
some strips of rags, he proceeded to grind his lancet, with which he 
proposed to trim and cleanse the wound, on a scythe stone from the 
family barn!" The result, as in the case of Rufus Jones, was infection, 
long illness, and the moment of despair. Instead of Aunt Peace, as in 
the passage quoted above, it was the boy's mother who came to 
prophesy over him. "Do not cry, Solon, my son, thy life and health 
have only now been given into thy keeping. This is not an end for 
thee — it is just the beginning. God is going to make thy coming days 
thy best. Thee will live to serve him in love and truth." 

The third incident which Rufus Jones noted that Dreiser had bor- 
rowed from him was that of the schoolboy fight. Here, however, the 
parallel is much less obvious. It is true, Rufus Jones did engage in two 
fights, under provocation, and in both cases he held his own and be- 
came friends with the boys afterwards. Dreiser evidently held fighting 
to be too un-Quakerly an activity for his hero, and, though he allowed 
him to wrestle successfully, he made him decline further combat with 
the words, "I do not wish to fight thee. Besides, thee knows I have no 
quarrel with thee." 

Rufus Jones himself enumerated these incidents without comment 
in a talk that he made on the subject of The Bulwark to the Library 
Associates on May 19, 1946, in the Quaker Room of the Haverford 
College Library. Theodore Dreiser had written to him, three years 
earlier, saying that he was writing a novel that involved Quakers, and 
asking for the names of educational institutions within a hundred 
miles of Philadelphia which were influenced or controlled by Friends 
between 1885 and 1890, and he had replied with a list of colleges 
and schools but with no description of "the inward life of any of these 
institutions." The only identifiable one that turned up in the book was 
Llewellyn College for Women, which was plainly intended to be 
Bryn Mawr. 

Rufus Jones's considered judgment on The Bulwark was that it 
was not a successful novel. "The author is interpreting a theory of life 
and action rather than creating persons who live and breathe and have 
authentic being," he said in part. "He never gets inside of this 
Quaker family or of a Quaker Meeting, and his characters remain too 
much like constructed frames for presenting the author's theories." 

The experience of this ten-year-old brush with death, though 


it brought Rufus a deeper thoughtfulness, by no means made a saint 
of him. As soon as he was well again — and he did recover completely 
— he was out skylarking with the boys or hanging about the grocery 
store. His companions were often rough-tongued and earthy both in 
language and point of view, but he considered always that he got 
from them an essential part of his education, for he learned much about 
human nature that he had no later opportunities for learning and he 
discovered through them the value of friendship with people of differ- 
ent ideals from his own. 

Rufus's formal education began when at four and a half, holding 
tight to Alice's hand, he walked down the road to the one-room 
village school. During the next few years, with a succession of 
teachers, some effective and some not, he progressed through Sanders's 
five Readers and reached the heights of the Grammar Class, which 
stayed on after the lower orders had left, to parse — pronounced pass 
— long passages from Paradise Lost. Having at thirteen got all there 
was to get from that school, he pursued learning at three other schools 
in neighboring districts. The last of these, the Weeks Mill School, in- 
volved a three-mile walk each way. Here he encountered a really 
inspiring teacher, with whom he began to study Physics and Physi- 
ology and who opened up to him the glories of Mathematics. How- 
ever primitive these district schools may seem now, they must have 
offered a sound foundation, for no fewer than twenty-five men and 
women, mostly Joneses, went out from South China to teach in schools 
and colleges across the nation. 

The following autumn, when Rufus was fifteen, he went to Oak 
Grove Seminary. This was a Quaker boarding school in Vassalboro, 
on the other side of China Lake, of which his Uncle Eli and two of 
his cousins had been principal at one time and another. Rufus spent 
eleven weeks there, and he financed this enterprise himself. The 
proceeds of the sale of a sheep he had raised, plus her lamb, paid for 
his tuition and room; his food he took from home. With another 
boy, Herbert Goddard, who became a well-known doctor and started 
the hospital at Vineland, N. J., he brought enough supplies from home 
on Sunday to last till the following Friday, when they went home 
again. In their room they had an air-tight stove, and once they boiled 
some eggs in a saucepan with a tight cover. When the power of steam 
disclosed itself and both eggs and cover hit the ceiling, the boys gave 
up cooked food and relied on cold pies and doughnuts. It seems in- 
credible now that no scholarships were available for two boys who 


wanted an education badly enough to eat stale cold food in their bed- 
room while the rest of the school enjoyed hot meals in the dining-hall, 
or that a school administration could countenance such an arrangement, 
but consciences have evidently become tenderer since 1878, and educa- 
tion has changed. 

Rufus began to study Latin at Oak Grove, continued with his 
Mathematics, and embarked on the study of Astronomy with a teacher 
so competent that, without telescope or instrument, she gave him 
enough knowledge later to pass the Astronomy examination at Haver- 
ford, without taking the course, with a mark of 95. The teacher no 
doubt deserves all the credit he gave her, but one thinks also of the 
astonished joy she must have felt at discovering a boy with Rufus's 
mind among her pupils. 

When he left Oak Grove Rufus took with him not only a formal 
certificate testifying to his completion of the prescribed course of the 
Philosophy Department and his "honorable character for scholarship 
and deportment," but a secret determination to aim still higher — at the 
Friends School in Providence, Rhode Island. 

That winter he returned to the South China School, where his 
cousin Frank E. Jones was now teacher, and struggled on with his 
Latin, partly with Frank's slender help but mostly by himself. 

In the summer of 1879, Rufus and his father were working together 
in the pond field, hoeing parallel rows of potatoes, keeping along 
side by side. Suddenly Rufus leaned on his hoe and said, "Father, I've 
made up my mind I've got to go away to school." 

The story of this conversation as told in A Small-Town Boy differs 
slightly from the account which Rufus Jones gave to his daughter in 
1939 and which she recorded. Since the second account is more inti- 
mate, more vivid, more human, I give it here in its entirety. 
Father: Why, thee's got all the education thee needs. 
RMJ: No, I feel as though I'd hardly begun. 
Father: Well, thee knows there isn't any money for thee to use. 
RMJ: Yes, I know that well enough, but I guess if an American boy 

really wants an education enough, nothing's going to stop him. 
Father: If thee feels that way, thee's free to go ahead. I've said all I 


In a sermon at South China, July 29, 1939, Rufus Jones said that 
this decision marked a turning point in his life and that he dated his 
life from that moment. 


Into the Quaker Stream 

When the Committee of the Providence Friends School met to 
consider applications for scholarships, they found the name of Rufus 
M. Jones among the candidates. "Why," said one of the members, 

I know that boy's mother, and if he is like her he deserves all the 
help he can get." 

So it was that in September 1879 a tall, thin, eager country boy who 
had never before ridden on railroad train, steam boat or horse car 
traveled by all three of those conveyances and arrived at the school 
which is now known as the Moses Brown School. It was then a co- 
educational boarding-school, one of the best of that distinctive type 
of school developed by Friends during the nineteenth century; and the 
scholarship which he was given covered all expenses. 

The large buildings set at the head of a sweep of well-kept lawns on 
a hill overlooking Narragansett Bay seemed at first a little over- 
powering to the boy from South China, Maine, even though he found 
among the students five cousins whom he had never met before and 
though his best friend and dearest cousin, Charles Jacob of Dirigo 
was his classmate. "You know I came to Prov. a green, backward' 
awkward boy, extremely rustic in all my ways," he wrote years later 
to his friend Edward Farr. "I had very little to recommend me, but 
from the first you were a friend to me, and your encouragement has 
done much to spur me on." 

The strain of the early days soon disappeared, as he made friends. 
He was in demand for athletic teams; he liked girls and was at ease 
with them; he was delighted with this new world. 



Also new to the school that autumn was its principal, Augustine 
Jones, who was Rufus's first cousin, twenty-eight years older than he. 
A lawyer in Lynn before he was called to head up the school, he had 
been still earlier principal of Oak Grove Seminary. A tall, handsome, 
dignified man, he was held in respect and some awe by the boy who 
for some years had been wearing his cast-off suits, cut down to fit. He 
brought to the school his own enthusiasm for art, and under his rule 
more pianos were added. Rufus became very fond of him and enjoyed 
his classes in the Bible, which were of a broader type than any he had 
yet experienced. 

In spite of his somewhat haphazard preparation in rural schools 
Rufus was well able to take his place with others of his age. He joined 
the Latin class reading Caesar, took up Geometry enthusiastically, 
began Greek with Seth K. Gifford, an exacting, exciting teacher. 
Weakest in science, he entered the class in Natural Sciences — and was 
astonished to discover that the world was not made in six days and that 
man did not begin with Adam. Through the guidance of a wise teacher, 
Thomas Battey, who had studied with Gray and Agassiz at Harvard, 
Rufus made this hurdle without difficulty, and found his religious 
faith all the more secure when it marched with facts. 

The first Christmas he went home, because neither he nor his mother 
could endure the separation any longer. Mary Jones had been growing 
steadily frailer since a severe attack of rheumatic fever four years 
earlier, and Rufus felt an uneasiness about her which he scarcely ad- 
mitted even to himself. With Charlie Jacob and two girls who were 
going to Vassalboro, he came up from Boston in a blizzard, and was 
touched to find his father at Augusta to meet him with the sleigh. The 
ceilings of the old house looked low and primitive to him now, after 
the spacious rooms of the school, but he was happy to be at home. 

In April he went home again, this time to attend his mother's 
funeral. It was that dismal season known as mud time, and the stage 
from Augusta sank hub-deep in the mire, so that it took about five 
hours to cover the twelve miles to South China. 

The death of his adored mother was a far more serious test of his 
faith than Geology or the theory of evolution could offer. Before the 
shocking fact of the body in the coffin, his trust in the goodness of God 
and the immortality of the soul was all but shattered, but memories 
of his mother's faith and the love of God as it had been manifested 
in her life came flooding in to restore his spirit, and the crisis passed, 
leaving him its blessing of new strength and maturity. 


Summer vacations he seems to have spent in Lynn, working in a 
shoe factory, and staying with his aunt Lizzie Hoxie, who kept a 
small boarding house, and who was a friend of Whittier's. 

Various distinguished people came to the Friends School to speak 
to the students while Rufus was there. Clara Winslow, his classmate, 
mentioned Susan B. Anthony, Frances E. Willard, Julia Ward Howe, 
and others. It may be that it was in this way he first heard Phillips 
Brooks. "I heard Phillips Brooks preach twice in my youth," he wrote, 
"and I knew instantly that the man I had been waiting for had come." 
It was from Phillips Brooks he got one of the figures that he was often 
to use, that the checkerboard of life was made up of black squares on a 
white background, not white squares on fundamental black. 

Some of their visitors were dimmer lights, however. One of these 
provided Rufus Jones with a story which served him well whenever he 
in his turn talked to a group of school children. "He got up on the 
high platform," he would say, "somewhat higher than this, and he got 
badly scared, the way I am now, and he looked down in the faces of 
the children, and he said, 'When I look down into the faces of these 
dear boys and these dear girls, it makes me think of the time when I 
was a little boy and a little girl.' " 

In 1 88 1 he graduated, in the largest graduating class in the history 
of the school: ten boys and fifteen girls. His essay, read at Com- 
mencement, was entitled, "North America in the Age of Ice." Others 
dealt confidently with subjects ranging from "Characteristics of Pre- 
Historic Man" to "Modern Superficiality." 

He came back to school the following September for a post-graduate 
year to pull up his Greek to meet college requirements. It was a 
wonderfully pleasant and stimulating year for him. Five of the girls in 
his class, whom he called "the puellae" in his letters to Ed Farr, were 
also back, and there were sleighing parties, reading groups, and debates 
on historical and literary subjects. "I tell you, Ed," he wrote, "you 
can't imagine what a good time I have been having." 

Rufus, who had grown up in a household dominated by three re- 
markable women, was always at ease with women and well liked by 
them. More than that, he was to be all his life very dependent upon 
women for companionship, sympathy, and encouragement. His friend- 
ships were all natural, spontaneous, open, and based upon the high 
ideal of women which was the natural outcome of his upbringing. 
"A noble, lovely woman seems to me," he wrote to Ed Farr, "the 
highest thing in the world, and what a power she can have." 


When the post-graduate year was finished, he had the problem of 
what college to choose. Brown University in Providence attracted 
him in many ways, but in the end he decided on Haverford. Uncle 
Eli, two of whose sons had gone there, was strongly in favor of 
Haverford, and so was Aunt Peace. Charles Jacob had gone there 
in the fall of 1881 and wrote urging Rufus to come and be his room- 
mate, a powerful inducement. Haverford moreover offered him a 
full scholarship for board and tuition, which he accepted and later 
repaid. The choice of a college he was later to count as one of life's 
three major events, the other two being the involuntary one of "getting 
born in the right place, of the right parents, at the right moment in 
time" and the choice of a wife. 

When he left for college, to enter the Sophomore class, he con- 
sidered himself a man; he had attained his full height of six feet and he 
had a Prince Albert coat. But the photographs of college groups show 
a tall, thin, gangling boy with protruding teeth, which for years, 
until they were replaced by artificial ones, were to cause him mortifi- 
cation. Among the other students, who had a look of city and of 
means, he was a country boy still, but there was something unmis- 
takable in his open, ardent, vulnerable face that won him immediate 
and lasting friends. 

Haverford was a small college, minuscule by today's standards. 
When Rufus Jones entered it in 1882 the student body numbered 
seventy-one, chiefly Quakers from perhaps a dozen different states. 
It had been founded forty-nine years earlier by a group of earnest, 
far-sighted Orthodox Friends who, ascribing the tragic Separation of 
1827 to the general ignorance prevailing among the membership, 
sought to repair the long Quaker neglect of higher education. 

Their first step was to select a farm with a dependable spring of 
pure water, situated on the "main line" of the Pennsylvania railroad. 
Then, with the flair for beauty and the recognition of its worth which 
is a rather unexpected trait of the old time plain Friend, they imported 
a famous landscape gardener from England to design the campus. 
He brought with him as an additional gift the game of cricket, which 
became Haverford's chief sport. The first building, Founders' Hall, a 
wide-winged, ample building of simple lines, with a high porch and a 
belfry, was in the good taste of its period. By the time that Rufus 
Jones got there, Barclay Hall and Alumni Hall, one wing of which 
housed the library, had been added, in the less fortunate, dressed-stone 
and top-heavy gable architecture of the '70's. 


The founding fathers selected their faculty with care, and though 
the college, cautious and paternalistic, kept for long years some of the 
qualities of a boarding-school, a governor to preside over conduct 
persisting even into Rufus Jones's day, still there were men of intel- 
lectual stature and high character to fire the imaginations (if at all 
combustible) of the students and to provide them with substantial, 
invigorating intellectual fare. 

Logan Pearsall Smith, who was for a time a classmate of Rufus's 
before he departed for Oxford, via Harvard, experienced "no stirring 
of the mind" at Haverford, though he conceded that the scheme of 
teaching in this Quaker college was rather sounder than in some of 
the large universities, which dispensed what he stigmatized as a 
"vague, diffused kind of intellectual varnishing and plastering over." 

To the boy from Maine, however, who, from the moment when he 
first passed between the stone pillars at the entrance and saw the long 
roll of lawns, the pond, the stately trees planted in "quincunxes" — an 
oak, an ash, an elm, a locust, a tulip-poplar — gave his heart to it, 
Haverford was a place of vital study and growth and discovery, where 
the lines for his future life and work were laid, his potentialities for 
leadership explored. He brought to it the qualities of deeply springing 
energy, originality, imagination, and penetration which are associated 
with genius. His was a genius already attuned to spiritual ends, but 
without the psychic imbalance that marks many religious geniuses, 
from George Fox backward and forward. 

He met nothing that did not become grist to his mill. The ability 
to experience vividly is a talent like any other, though not always 
recognized as such, and Rufus Jones had it in unusual measure. His 
zest for life and learning was unquenchable. He liked food, fun, and 
jokes. His friendships included people of all ages and many types. 
Among his friends was an attractive girl who, in spite of her charm, 
suffered from the nickname "Goat" because she wore a goatskin fur; 
because of her he taught Sunday School in the Methodist Church all 
the time he was in college. He delighted in long walks with the presi- 
dent of the college, Thomas Chase, and learned to match his gigantic 
stride, a habit which continued with him all his life. He spent fourteen 
continuous hours one day mastering Kant's "transcendental deduction 
of the categories" and when a mathematical truth broke upon him 
in a blaze of illumination like a religious conversion, he worked off his 
elation in a cross-country run, leaping all the fences that lay in his 
path. He entered a non-credit course in Italian and felt "great gratifi- 


cation, even pride, in thinking that we are reading Dante." He en- 
joyed swimming, long hikes, sledding and ice-skating; he loved cricket 
and savored its "subtle values." He threw his energy into the Y.M.C.A., 
then only ten years old and a fresh and exciting cause, and in his 
Senior year he was its president. He was president of the Senior Class 
and editor-in-chief of the Haverjordian. He was the upper classman 
to whom the younger men went for help when they got into trouble. 

Above all, at Haverford he encountered Pliny Earle Chase. Philoso- 
pher, mathematician, linguist, meteorologist, Professor Chase was 
most remarkable for the quality of his personality, for his radiance, 
his gentleness and humility, his gift for inspiring youth. "My whole 
life would have been different if I had gone to Brown University in 
Providence as I expected to," Rufus Jones said in 1938. "By coming 
to Haverford I came under the influence of Pliny Chase and that made 
all the difference. He sat on the lower bench of Haverford Meeting 
because he never was recorded as a minister. He had a piano. But we 
knew he was recorded in Heaven and that was all that mattered . . . 
not a day goes by but I remember him." He was the one person, not 
even excepting Uncle Eli and Aunt Sybil, whom Rufus had found 
to put on a level with Aunt Peace for saintliness and wisdom of the 

To his tribute to his beloved professor in The Trail of Life in 
College, Rufus Jones adds the cautionary word: "I do not claim that 
he was all that I am saying he was. I am only insisting that this is what 
we believed about him. That is what he was for us." It is perhaps 
well to add a few objective facts. He was a half brother of Thomas 
Chase, the president of the college, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, 
in 1820, educated at the Providence Friends School and at Harvard, 
where he took his M.A. in 1844. He came to Haverford in 187 1 as 
Professor of Natural Science and Philosophy and in 1875 became 
Professor of Philosophy and Logic. He contributed many papers to the 
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, and he won its 
seldom awarded Magellanic Gold Medal in 1864. Best known, perhaps, 
as the author of the standard text, Chase's Arithmetic, he was highly 
respected for his character even by those who considered him too 
versatile for his intellectual good or too liberal for his spiritual welfare. 

For his part Pliny Chase was obviously drawn to Rufus, recognizing 
no doubt the rare promise in the boy. Rufus went to the Chases' house 
for supper every Thursday throughout his three years at Haverford. 
Mrs. Chase was a superb housekeeper; there were three gay and 


friendly daughters: Maria, who was older than Rufus, Harriet, just his 
own age, who most resembled their father, and Eliza. All the family 
loved music, and the piano which kept Pliny from being a "recorded" 
minister, was well used. Maria and Rufus went together to see the 
famous Italian actress, Maria Stuart. It was Rufus's first venture into 
a theatre and in later years, when Maria Chase had become the 
conservative Mrs. Thomas Scattergood, he enjoyed teasing her by de- 
claring that she had "wrecked" him by leading him into a theatre. 

Professor Chase's courses in Philosophy were probably less effective 
than the man himself. Certainly time spent on Paley's Evidences of 
Christianity and Dymond's Moral Philosophy was time largely lost, 
but there was also a historical review of Philosophy, with emphasis on 
Berkeley's Idealism, which provided a sketch map for the student 
who was ready to do his own exploring. 

Rufus's real meeting with Plato took place in the Greek classes 
where he read the Apology and Crito and found a life-long companion 
and guide. "I can hardly imagine," he wrote, "what it would mean to 
live and to try to solve the problems and mysteries of life without the 
help of Plato!" Greek and Latin he studied first with Seth Gifford, 
who had come to Haverf ord from Providence the same year that Rufus 
himself did, and later with President Chase, whose massive head and 
benevolent expression won for him the title Zeus from the students. 

Next to Pliny Chase as a midwife to the soul, to use the phrase that 
Rufus Jones loved to borrow from Socrates, was Isaac Sharpless, the 
professor of Mathematics. Under him Rufus studied Trigonometry, 
Solid Geometry, Analytical Geometry, and Calculus, and got a mark 
of ioo in Analytical Geometry. He found in the study of Mathematics 
an immense stimulation of the imagination and a training in habits 
of exactness. 

In 1884 Isaac Sharpless, then thirty-six years of age, was made dean 
of the college. With his string tie, his Sunday shave, his high boots with 
his trousers tucked inside, his conservative Quakerism and his still 
youthful awkwardness, he was a figure of some amusement as well as 
affection to the students, but his knowledge of character, his "subtle 
and marvelous humor," his regard for truth, and his undeniable scholar- 
ship won their unqualified respect. 

Alysticism broke upon Rufus Jones with the same shock that the 
man experienced who had been speaking prose all his life without 
knowing it. He found the word in Emerson's Essays, and he found 
there also mention of George Fox, whom he had supposed to be a 


strictly Quaker prophet unknown to the outside world. To discover 
that Fox was one of a great historical succession of mystics and that 
the religion practised at home, in the family silences and in the little 
meeting at Dirigo, was mystical religion, was exciting and enlightening. 
Looking back, more than fifty years later, on this moment, he wrote: 
"it was a turning point in my life when I discovered that I belonged 
to a mighty spiritual movement rather than to a peculiar and provincial 
sect. I saw honest and self-sacrificing leaders in the Society of Friends 
devoting their precious lives to the task of preserving peculiarities 
and scruples and narrow conventions, when to me it seemed absolutely 
certain that our one hope of becoming a vital instrument in the hand 
of God lay in realizing the passion of our great founders to be the 
living seed of a world wide and ever growing spiritual movement." 

It was Pliny Chase who suggested that Rufus write his graduation 
thesis on the subject of "Mysticism and Its Exponents." Drawing 
chiefly on Vaughan's undependable Hours with the Mystics and on 
Karl Schmidt's French and German studies on John Tauler and four- 
teenth century mysticism, Rufus emphasized Tauler and Fox as 
examples of the purest mystics. The original manuscript is in the 
library of Haverford. Written in a somewhat flowery manner that 
resembled his later style as little as the Spenserian penmanship re- 
sembled his later large, open, inimitable hand, still it reveals something 
of the future Rufus Jones: the dislike of the abnormal, the self -tortur- 
ing, the negative; the insistence upon the real, the living, the useful. 
"Mysticism," he wrote, "does not have to do with creeds and dogmas: 
Christianity is broader than any creed. It leaves religious problems and 
deals with life and motives." 

"I had here found the field of my life work," he wrote in 1929. He 
had discovered the field that contained the treasure, but he had not 
yet seen how he was to go about digging for it. That would not come 
for several years. 

The usual pace of study in college was too slow for Rufus, with 
his eagerness and his capacity. He carried more than the regular load of 
courses and by the end of his Junior year was practically ready to 
graduate. Accordingly he asked and received permission to use his 
spare time in his Senior year to do work that would lead to a master's 
degree. Rather surprisingly he chose not philosophy but history as his 
subject. He was at that time intending to become a lawyer, perhaps 
because cousin Augustine Jones had been a lawyer before he went 
to Providence, and he thought that a knowledge of American History 


would be of use to him in the law. He read systematically and copiously 
under the direction of Allen Thomas, Professor of History, and 
though his research dealt with secondary rather than primary sources, 
he felt that he gained a familiarity with the historical method and the 
historical point of view that were of great value to him throughout his 
life both in his teaching and in his writing. Though most of the reading 
was done during this final year in college, his thesis and the last of 
three searching examinations were not accomplished until the year 
following his graduation. 

Another experience of future value was his work on the Haver- 
fordian. He began in his first year in the lowly position of assistant 
business manager, and suffered the usual initiation of being sent un- 
suspectingly to ask for an advertisement from the bad-tempered 
avowed enemy of the paper — and returned triumphantly with a large 
subscription and a promise of more. By his Senior year he was editor- 
in-chief, with his friend Gus Murray as one of his assistants. When 
Rufus took office the paper was in the black books of the faculty and 
the Board of Managers. It was characteristic of him that his endeavor 
to "promote good feeling" took the form not of appeasement and 
caution but of open and at that time rather daring discussion of college 
policy and the proposal of a system of self-government then revolu- 
tionary. "Where petty rules are reduced to the minimum," he wrote 
in one of several articles, "broad principles laid down as guiding points, 
and the good common sense of the students trusted, the most satis- 
faction and the least amount of jarring between ruled and ruling is 

Among the items of contemporary interest noted by the Haver- 
fordian that year was the building of Taylor and Merion Halls on 
the campus of the new Friends college for women in nearby Bryn 
Mawr, which was to open in the autumn of 1885. Rufus often walked 
over there to visit the Garretts, who were living in a small house, later 
to be the Deanery, on the campus, watching over the erection of the 
buildings. John B. Garrett was vice-president of the Lehigh Valley 
Railroad, a manager of Haverford, a trustee of the new Bryn Mawr 
College, and a "weighty Friend" of Twelfth Street Meeting. He had 
two attractive daughters. After noting the bell tower on Taylor Hall, 
Rufus remarked, "But let us not dwell on clocks and bells, for how 
soon one tires of their musical sounds except at three particular oc- 
casions during the day." Going on to more serious topics he reported 
that Pliny Chase was to fill the chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy 


in the new college. "It was Dr. Taylor's desire that Haverford and 
Bryn Mawr should mutually assist and strengthen each other and so 
we hope and trust it may be. Each doing its work in its particular 
sphere but each laboring for the same end, may they stand like two 
watch-towers to catch the earliest glimmerings of truth." 

Like the other students Rufus Jones went to meeting at Haverford 
every Thursday and Sunday morning. He heard Pliny Chase's 
mystical yet practical messages, delivered in a conversational, medi- 
tative way far more impressive than oratorical display. Quaker 
neighbors attended these meetings also and sometimes distinguished 
visitors to the college. But Haverford Meeting was then only a pre- 
parative meeting, a subsidiary of Twelfth Street Meeting in Phila- 
delphia, a mere trout pool in the powerful stream of Philadelphia 

A fingerling from South China, Maine, might be expected not to 
venture out of the pool, but young Rufus Jones, the nephew of Uncle 
Eli and Aunt Sybil, had friends who introduced him to the larger 
waters. Through a complicated series of second marriages in the 
family of Augustine Jones, he had acquired an "aunt" and "uncle," 
Lydia and Mark Balderston, who opened to him their house on 
Marshall Street, in Philadelphia, at Yearly Meeting time, and there 
he met many other Friends who came from nearby meetings in 
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to attend the sessions of the 
Orthodox group at Arch Street. His cousin Richard Jones, Uncle 
Eli's son, was headmaster of William Penn Charter School, then 
situated at Market and Twelfth Streets, next door to the Meeting 
house. The weighty Friend described but not named in The Trail of 
Life in College who invited Rufus to spend his first Christmas holi- 
days with him and took him to Twelfth Street and to Germantown 
Meetings, where he was kindly received and launched on several life- 
long friendships, was possibly T. Wistar Brown. 

At Twelfth Street Meeting he found a spacious, well-proportioned 
room with unpainted walls and benches of natural wood where be- 
tween four and five hundred Friends, "nearly all of them city-bred, 
many of them persons of business success, of wealth, of culture, and 
of prominence," sat in a profound and living silence. On the high 
benches facing the body of the meeting were the ministers and elders, 
all wearing the traditional costume, collarless coats for the men, gray 
or drab silk shawls and bonnets for the women. Occasionally there was 
a message, delivered in that quavery Quaker chant which has been 


likened to the medieval plain-song, but it was the depth and vitality 
of the silence that made a deep impression upon Rufus. 

In the spring he went to Yearly Meeting, and attended every 
session of the week-long series, as he did also in 1884 and 1885. Quaker 
schools and colleges had their spring holiday during Yearly Meeting 
week, but few of the students can have been as assiduous in attendance 
as Rufus Jones. He went, he worshiped, and he observed. 

Philadelphia Quakerism, it seemed to him, had congealed in out- 
worn molds. The form of speech, the cape on the bonnet or the 
absence of it, the size of a beard had assumed a spurious importance. 
More than that, the ministry arising out of the silence seemed to him 
lacking in thought content — just a series of texts strung together and 
delivered in that unnatural voice. In his little country meeting he had 
heard Uncle Eli preach far better sermons. 

His own studies in mysticism and his historical perspective made 
him feel that an eighteenth century Quakerism, impregnated with 
Quietism, had superseded the "freedom and marching power" of the 
original movement which Fox had set on foot in the seventeenth 
century. He did not yet see all the currents involved nor his own 
role, but he "resolved even then that I would throw in my lot with the 
discoverer and creator and not with the conformist." 

In June, 1885, he received his diploma, his A.B. degree, and the 
large wooden spoon traditionally given to the man who best exempli- 
fied the ideals of the college and was most loved by the class; he had 
his picture taken with the other seventeen members of the class, all 
in frock coats and derby hats and five of them with moustaches; and 
then he was out in the world, faced with the question of what to do 

A prominent citizen of Wenonah, N.J., whom he had met when 
visiting his school friend, Ed Farr, had offered to see him through law 
school and to help him get started in life, This offer, which came 
some time before Commencement, he had, after deep and searching 
thought, refused. He wrote his friend that his mind "was unexpectedly 
moving in a different direction" for his career in life, though at that 
time he could not have said definitely what that direction was. 

He returned to his home in South China and waited for further 
light. Before the hay was harvested, the answer came, in the form of 
a choice between two divergent lines, a veritable fork in the road. He 
was offered a graduate fellowship in History by the University of 
Pennsylvania, with the prospect of working with Edmund James in 


Political Science and the widely-known John Bach McMaster in Amer- 
ican History — surely an opportunity for the young man who had al- 
ready spent most of a year in historical research. 

Before he could reply to this offer, the following morning in fact, 
a woman drove up to the door and set the alternative before him. She 
was associate principal of Oakwood Seminary, a Quaker boarding- 
school at Union Springs, New York, on Lake Cayuga, about twenty- 
five miles from Cornell. She had come to offer him a position as teacher 
in the school. The salary was three hundred dollars and she must have 
an answer the next day. 

It was a difficult, a crucial decision. One path would lead him into 
the academic world, the other deeper into Quakerism. One wonders 
what the choice would have been had Aunt Peace not been right at 
hand to be consulted — and very sure that the way was clear. Rufus 
Jones acknowledged the weight of her influence, but he felt also as 
he pondered late into the night that he knew the guidance of an in- 
visible hand. He came finally to see it as a question of the kind of 
person he wanted to be, and in that insight he turned down the uni- 
versity and took the school. 


U A Grip on the Base of the World" 

(Jakwood Seminary, which had been established in 1796 at Nine 
Partners, in Dutchess County, New York, and later moved to Union 
Springs, was one of the oldest of the Friends boarding-schools. Elijah 
Cook was its principal in 1885, and the students numbered fewer than 
a hundred, the oldest of them being very little younger than the new 
teacher, fresh from Haverford. 

He taught Greek, Latin, German, Surveying, Astronomy, and Zool- 
ogy, but though the schedule sounds formidable the actual teaching 
time was no more than three and a half hours a day. "I enjoy teaching 
ever so much," he wrote Ed Farr. "I do not have very much Govern- 
ment to look after, but just enough to try myself. We have good food 
and that has taken a big burden off my mind. The great trouble has 
been that I have no one who is congenial for me to ally myself to, 
so I have to flock alone to a large extent, but the older scholar (s) 
have entertained me nicely . . . On the whole I think I am in the 
right place." 

He went to the Union Springs Meeting and soon found messages 
pressing against his lips. Among the meeting members he made friends. 
John and Susannah Howland opened their fine private library to him, 
and he read widely during his spare time, not only American history 
and the mystical writers, but Goethe, Carlyle, Lowell and Browning, 
who became his favorite and most quoted poet. Saul he encountered 
for the first time at the house of Elizabeth Comstock, a venerable 
English Friend who lived in Union Springs, and her sister, Lydia 
Rouse, who for some years had been governness to John Bright's 



children and later headmistress of the Mount, a Friends school for 
girls in York, England. He was invited every Sunday evening for 
supper by these ladies, and after supper he read aloud to them. 

Perhaps he read too much. He had begun to have trouble with 
his eyes in college, but now he suffered seriously from inflamed lids 
and aching eyes. A visit to an oculist brought no relief. 

This weakness of the eyes was for a long time a burden, and a 
threat always. It was one of the thorns of the flesh that he learned to 
carry so quietly that few people noticed or remembered them. Though 
he had a tall, muscular, limber body, he was often physically under 
par, made miserable by hay fever, asthma, and indigestion. He was 
subject also to periods of depression. "My body and spirits are closely 
connected," he wrote to Sarah Coutant in 1886, "and go to the heights 
and depths together." More than most people he was affected by the 
weather. Cold, gray, rainy days so lowered his spirits that he said of 
himself, "The weather molds me like wax." Rufus Jones's lifelong 
optimism, which was so integral a part of him, was hard won and 
deeply based. He had to learn "to live above the level of moods," in 
the phrase which he used in a talk at Pendle Hill in 1936. 

It was not long before he found someone at Oakwood to ally him- 
self to. Sarah Hawkeshurst Coutant, herself a graduate of the school, 
had returned to teach there the previous year. They read together, 
and when his eyes began to hurt, she read to him. There is a notebook 
extant, dated 1885-86 in which she copied out quotations from a 
variety of writers, including Lowell (A Fable for Critics, Biglow 
Papers), George Eliot and George Macdonald (two of Rufus's favorite 
novelists), Aurora Leigh, Whittier's Tauler, and, possibly significant, 
Romeo and Juliet. 

Sallie, who was nearly a year older than Rufus, was a fine-looking 
girl with clear-cut, regular features, dark hair and eyes, and a look 
of fire and intensity. She had a dry sense of humor, a keen mind, a 
flair for style, and an immense capability in practical affairs. Her 
mother was Elizabeth Griggs and her father was James Hawkeshurst 
Coutant, a Quaker farmer of Huguenot descent, who lived in Ardonia, 
New York, across the Hudson from Poughkeepsie. After her mother's 
death, when Sallie was quite small, James Coutant married Clementine 
Heaton, to whom Sallie was devoted and whom she called Mother. 
There were three children of the second marriage, Emma, Lydia and 

Rufus and Sallie "were both filled with a passionate love for truth, 


for education, for making their lives pure and good. They both came 
from small, country, Quaker homes where poverty was a reality but 
where a homespun culture and dignity were equally real. They both 
had lost their mothers and yearned for an understanding soul with 
whom to share the gropings which all young people have." 

When school was over at the end of June, Rufus traveled with 
Sallie to the big old house in Ardonia, where Clementine Coutant, 
a famous housewife, "took in boarders." Rufus spent the night there 
and went on the next day to New York and then to Maine. 

Lucy Hawkes Meader, a close friend of both Sallie and Rufus, tells 
the story, which she had from both of them, that after he had said 
good-by and left that morning, he turned back, unhappy in the part- 
ing — to find Sallie in tears on the sofa. He impulsively proposed to her. 

It was unpremeditated; it was inevitable. Rufus was not one to see 
a woman's tears unmoved, and his heart was already engaged. But it 
was not what he had intended at this time. 

He wrote her from South China a week later. He had had an "in- 
ward fog." As the climax of a year's struggle, he had resolved, before 
that momentous morning, to leave the matter as it was, to keep every- 
thing to himself, and wait for Time to give the decision. But after all, 
he had spoken, and he thought it was right, if they were sure. "Until 
we feel sure, unmistakably sure, we should keep all our thoughts from 
the outside world . . . What I have said does not in the least imply 
faithlessness or change of opinion." He concluded the letter, "Faith- 
fully thy friend, and more." 

Sallie's letters of this period have unfortunately not survived, but 
it seems clear from Rufus's that though she herself was "sure" she was 
willing to follow his lead. 

He was doubtful about his plans for the next year. Even though 
he had been offered a higher salary he was reluctant to return to 
Oakwood. His eyes were still troublesome and needed rest. He turned 
to his family for guidance. Aunt Peace, his father and Herbert, "the 
rosebud of the family," were still in the old homestead, though Alice, 
his sister, had married and gone to live in South Durham, Maine. Aunt 
Sybil had died thirteen years earlier, but Uncle Eli was at hand. Rufus 
also consulted his cousin Richard Jones, headmaster of the Penn Charter 
School, who spent his summers in South China, and who, Rufus wrote 
to Sallie," is somewhat my style of a man; he is full of life and activity, 
understands boys, can see a joke if it has a point, 'knows a few things,' 
has known of a 'digging deep,' and has an opinion on nearly every- 


Cousin Richard was in favor of a year abroad, such as he himself 
had had, for study and experience. Augustine Jones, whom Rufus had 
seen in Providence, had talked to him seriously on the subject of early 
marriage and advised a trip to Europe. Aunt Peace and Uncle Eli gave 
warm approval to the project. The only difficulty was the financial 
one. Rufus still had most of the $300 that he had earned at Oakwood, 
but no more, until Hannah J. Bailey, a well-to-do and philanthropic 
Friend who lived in nearby Winthrop, offered to lend him whatever he 

He wrote to Sallie on the seventh of August that his "Bunyan's 
load" was beginning to roll off a little, for one important question had 
been settled. "My European blossom has become a seed, which is fast 
ripening. I propose to go to Europe for a year, spending most of the 
time getting the French and German languages. I am arranging to go 
by the State Line from New York two weeks from Thursday (the 
26th). My plan is to visit for about two months in England and 
Scotland. Uncle Eli is going to give me letters to his old friends there 
and he is doing all he can to make my visit a big success. The remainder 
of the year will be divided between France and Germany ... I never 
felt so much in my life before that I had reached the dividing line 
between past and future, boyhood and manhood as I have this sum- 
mer. Sometimes when I stop and listen I can almost hear the infinite 
sea of life roar and rumble and I know that everything is shouting 
in my ear, 'embark on it,' and I mean to obey the voice." 

In a postscript he reported the offer of the position of principal of 
Damascus Academy, a Friends school in Ohio. "But having put my 
hands on the plow handles and having the horses nearly harnessed and 
furthermore feeling that I am in the right furrow I do not think it 
best to turn back." 

His joy was complete when Charles Jacob, who since graduation 
from Haverford had been principal of the Friends School in Oxford, 
Pennsylvania, arranged to follow him to London and spend the rest 
of the year with him. 

No passport was necessary in those innocent days, and passage was 
quickly obtained on the Pennsylvania, a one-class ship of eight thou- 
sand tons, for forty dollars. The day before he sailed Rufus took the 
Mary Powell up the Hudson to pay a final visit to Sallie. 

He wrote her afterwards from the ship: "I never went at anything 
with better courage than I now feel, and had [I] an assurance of a 
continuation of the spirit I had in me coming down the Hudson I 


should surely do something. I had as it were in the language of Lowell 
'a grip on the base of the world.' " 

On the 26th of July he was seen off at the dock by Ed Farr and 
another boy, and set forth in the highest of spirits on the first of many 
voyages across the Atlantic. During the ten days that it took this 
small vessel "using sails as well as steam" to cross the ocean, he wrote 
a journal letter to Sallie, full of the minutiae of a first voyage. 

His cabin mates were a Scotch Presbyterian minister and a Jamaican 
planter. He sat at the Captain's table. He played deck games, and 
played to win. 

"You know I make it a point always to beat," he wrote, "no matter 
how insignificant the game, for if one gets used to coming out ahead in 
little things it is easier in larger things. I have not been beaten so far 
although the games were new to me. I hate croquet but it breaks me 
all up to get beaten at it, and I have felt so in all my games since I 
was a little boy. To me it is important to seem to have fortune on your 
side, and it does seem so if you generally beat." 

His reading included, besides the Bible, Scott (Lord of the Isles 
and Marmion), Tennyson (In Memoriam), and Holmes (The Poet 
at the Breakfast Table). He was throughout his life an omnivorous 
reader, often keeping three or four books going at a time. 

This section of the letter ended, "With best wishes of thy sea tos't 
friend who has a heart full of love." 

Then with the innocent clumsiness of the inexperienced, he re- 
marked, "There is a girl here who makes me think lots of Miss Clark." 
Edith Clark was another teacher at Oakwood, who had also taken a 
turn at reading to Rufus when his eyes were bad, and of whom Sallie 
would doubtless have preferred him not to be thinking "lots." "She 
is from Glasgow and she sits where I can watch her though I have 
not talked with her. She smiled an encouraging smile when I got 
off my first poor pun at the table. The ladies are not attractive, with 
this exception." 

Later, possibly after some roughness in the sea, though he was 
usually a good sailor, he wrote, "I am not feeling as well tonight as I 
would like to feel and I shall continually need something to cheer me. 
I should be glad if I were not so variable in my feelings but I am so 
constituted and unless I can be remodeled I shall always be more or 
less so. I am generally buoyant enough to float and if all is well I can 
get on with the aid of a 'life preserver' on the voyage of life." 

After landing in Glasgow, he went on to Edinburgh. He spent a 


week in Scotland, visiting friends of Uncle Eli's, and having tea with 
the Scottish minister who had been his cabin mate, but the constant 
rain and the sense of being among strangers was depressing to him. 
When he went on to Wilmslow, in Cheshire, however, and was warmly 
welcomed at the house of Ellen Clare Pearson, who had accompanied 
Uncle Eli and Aunt Sybil to Palestine, he felt as if he had reached his 
own home. From there he was passed on to a succession of Friendly 
homes. "Uncle Eli's name is like 'Open Sesame' at every Friend's 
house." He visited Fielden Thorp, headmaster of Bootham School in 
York, and with him saw York Minster for the first time, a tremendous 
experience for which Lowell's poem, The Cathedral, had somewhat 
prepared him. 

He went to "One Ash," Rochdale, to see John Bright. The 'great 
commoner' was at his brother's house nearby, and so Rufus read Gray's 
Elegy while awaiting his return. "Very soon the door opened and in 
came — a cat, followed by two dogs, and the dogs by the real John 
Bright, who looked just as his pictures do. A grand, good face, 
crowned with snow white hair. He is short and shows by his step that 
he has quite a load of years on his back. He took hold of my hand with 
his soft hand and asked me to come into his room, where we sat down, 
and he began the battle by asking me why I had come to England, 
which question I answered. Then we talked of Lydia Rouse, whom 
he admires, Blaine, whom he does not admire. I told him about the 
Maine liquor law and its success. He said he had heard Eli Jones preach 
some remarkable sermons and that Sybil Jones was a true poet in her 
thoughts and expression. He blew up Gladstone, spoke of free trade 
and some other things." Rufus stayed for tea, but not overnight, 
though invited to do so. He continued his letter to Sallie, expressing 
some concern over the mental barrenness of Oakwood and urging 
her to read Milton "and Shakespeare somewhat, especially Hamlet, 
Othello, Lear, and Merchant of Venice. John Bright told me there 
was nothing in poetry to compare with Milton, and he has great ad- 
miration of Whittier." 

At Birmingham he visited Richard Barrow, a well-to-do Friend, and 
in his house met two of Pliny Chase's sisters, who were also traveling 
in England. He went to meeting at Bull Street on Sunday, a great, 
solemn gathering like the Orthodox meetings in Philadelphia. "Trem- 
bling," he rose to speak, and began with the phrase now so familiar 
in Friends meetings, "Since sitting in this meeting I have been think- 
ing — " At the rise of the meeting, an elderly Friend in the plain dress, 


William Graham, the uncle of John William Graham, the writer, took 
him aside and said, "I was grieved at what thou said in meeting. Thou 
said that since sitting in the meeting thou hadst been thinking. Thou 
shouldst not have been thinking." 

It was a story that he loved to tell in later years, to illustrate the 
point of view of the old-time Friend who held that the mind should 
be swept clear of all thought as well as sense impressions, so that the 
divine light might shine the more purely through it, but at the time it 
must have been a somewhat daunting experience. 

He spent ten days in London, where he was entertained by a number 
of Friends. In fact, during all of the six weeks that he spent in Scotland 
and England, he passed but one night in a hotel, and that in Edinburgh 
during the first week. He saw all the sights from Westminster Abbey 
to Aiadame Tussaud's. For part of the time William Charles Braith- 
waite, like Rufus twenty-three years old, was his guide in London, 
and a friendship began which was of great future importance to both 
of them. 

William Charles Braithwaite was the son of Joseph Bevan Braith- 
waite, whose home in Camden Road was always open to visiting 
Friends. Born in 1818, he had been a recorded minister from the age of 
twenty-seven. His wife, Martha Gillett, had had her gifts thus recog- 
nized at the even earlier age of twenty-two. A successful barrister, he 
had an intense interest in the Bible, which he read in Hebrew and 
Greek, and in church history. His devotion to Quakerism, his service 
in its behalf, the depth of his faith, as well as the simplicity and nobility 
of his character, made him a towering figure in London Yearly Meet- 

This seasoned, important, immensely dignified English Quaker 
looked upon young Rufus Jones and saw something there that moved 
him to an extraordinary — and a touching — act. Rufus, in awe, wrote 
about it to both Uncle Eli and Sallie. 

"Bevan Braithwaite, who is the 'Pope of London Friends', kissed 
my hand when he bade me farewell, which I considered as a Jacob's 
blessing from an old Patriarch." 

Charles Jacob joined him in London and they went together to 
France. They boarded first with a French Protestant pastor in a village 
called La Paillette in the foothills of the French Alps, where they 
spoke French with the family and struggled to maintain it with each 
other. The pastor himself was a good teacher, but his wife was untidy 
and talkative, the weather was inclement, Rufus had a "regular Grendal 


[sic] of a cold" and a toothache, but he was learning a good deal of 
French and he tried to make the best of the situation. He and Charles 
laughed together a great deal. 

During the month that he was there, he had a mystical experience. 
He did not write about it to Sallie, but in later years he described it 
in two of his books, The Trail of Life in College, and A Call to 
What Is Vital. By that time his knowledge of mysticism was as great 
as that of anybody in the world, and he had a wide perspective from 
which to appraise it. He was always, as he wrote in The Testimony 
of the Soul, "cautious about expecting secret messages from sociable 
angels," and he drew a clear distinction between real intercourse with 
God and purely psychic events. During his years of study of mys- 
ticism, he developed criteria by which the objectivity of mystical 
experience might be verified: The mystic's own intense conviction, 
"a marked increase in unity and coherence to the personality," and an 
increase in creative energy. 

His own experience at Dieulefit near Le Paillette, though "too 
fleeting and elusive to catch and hold," would seem to have met all of 
these tests. The account given in The Trail of Life in College is the 
most complete: 

"I was on a solitary walk, absorbed with my thoughts about the 
meaning and purpose of my life, wondering whether I should ever 
get myself organized and brought under the control and direction of 
some constructive central purpose of life, when I felt the walls be- 
tween the visible and the invisible suddenly grow thin, and I was con- 
scious of a definite mission of life opening out before me. I saw stretch 
before me an unfolding of labor in the realm of mystical religion, 
almost as clearly as Francis heard himself called at St. Damiens to 
'repair the Church.' I remember kneeling down alone in a beautiful 
forest glade and dedicating myself then and there in the quiet and 
silence, but in the presence of an invading Life, to the work of in- 
terpreting the deeper nature of the soul and its relation with God." 

The effect of such an experience is not, however, immediately clear. 
He had during the next few months much discouragement, much 
questioning and soul searching. 

"I am affraid [sic] of myself," he wrote to Sallie from Nimes, where 
he went early in November, to stay with Jules Paradon, one of the 
leading French Friends, "for I know [I] am so made that I am as it 
were a compromise between good and evil, if I should once get on 
the bob-sled of sin I should go down the hill clear to the bottom while 


on the other hand with a light heart and a bright future I can go up 
as high as I wish." 

The weather was gloomy in Nimes, an icy wind swept down from 
the Alps, and snow fell on houses not equipped for cold; the food 
was unappetising, Rufus had an ulcerated tooth, and his eyes were 
troubling him. Still, he worked doggedly at his French and he visited 
the sixty or so French Friends who lived in four centers in that region. 

Sallie evidently sent some of his letters to her Aunt Mary, who had 
taken care of her during the period between her mother's death and 
her father's second marriage. That old lady's comment was, "I hope 
he [got] well of the toothache. I felt real sorry for him, and through 
it all he seems to be having a good time seeing the country and the 

News of the death of Pliny Chase in January filled Rufus with 
sorrow. "To me he was a father and his last talk with me just a year 
ago is beautiful to remember." 

There were, furthermore, the misunderstandings and hurts that 
arise when two ardent and sensitive young people try to clarify their 
relationship through long-distance correspondence. Marriage to Rufus 
was wholly serious; he saw it not only as a sacred partnership for life 
but as the medium in which a soul's growth might be either encouraged 
or inhibited. He knew well his own temperament and his needs. He 
was young enough to believe that complete honesty between two 
people required the expression of every doubt. 

"Is Sarah able to infuse joy and courage into me when the world 
looks dark," he asked himself — and, unfortunately, Sarah too — "when 
everything is discouraging. After a hard day's work can she say some- 
thing that will roll off my burdens, can she be my high tower against 
the thousand arrows of care, loss, discouragement, etc. Will her arm 
around my neck make me feel young when old age begins to carve 
my vissage [sic]?" He was then approaching his twenty-fourth birth- 
day. "Can I be in close companionship with her day after day and 
feel my life strengthened and made better by her love, her gentleness, 
will she be mother, sister, wife and friend to me? The answer must be 
affirmative. I do not forget on the other hand that it is a two-sided 
question and that I must be examined as well. I am not perfect. I am 
a specimen of humanity, hence I have faults, but I trust I shall always 
see the pole star. I mean to be as faithful as the law of gravitation, and 
I have no eyes to see a bad end to the life which I have tried in all 
sincerity to commence well, but I must be loved, loved by one whom 
I can always love in return." 


Another month brought the certainty that he craved, and he was 
writing, "There is one person in this world whom I want for my wife 
and thou art that person." 

In the middle of February Rufus and Charles said good-by to the 
French Friends, of whom they had become fond, and went on to 
Geneva, "the most agreeable city" that he had seen so far. After a 
week there they parted and Rufus went on alone, via Lausanne, Berne 
and Lucerne, to Strasbourg, then in Germany, "the city which I have 
always desired to see." 

He had a letter of introduction to Paul Sabatier, who took him to see 
the great European scholar, Karl Schmidt, then considered the greatest 
authority on the mystics. Schmidt, whose studies on fourteenth century 
mysticism he had read in preparing his graduation essay and who re- 
minded him of Pliny Chase, was kind and cordial to him and gave him 
a list of the best works to read on mysticism. Though Rufus Jones 
later came to find Karl Schmidt less infallible than he then believed 
him to be, he remembered always that meeting with him and some- 
times spoke of him as one of the important influences in his life. Paul 
Sabatier, who was at that time studying for a doctor's degree at Stras- 
bourg under Karl Schmidt, later became in Rufus's judgment, "the 
greatest interpreter of St. Francis of Assisi." Rufus had time during 
the day also to visit the Cathedral where John Tauler had preached, 
to admire the clock and to recall Whittier's poem Tender, before he 
took the train for Heidelberg, where he arrived the same day. 

Here he was to remain for four happy months. He stayed in a 
boarding house on the Unter Neckarstrasse, the old street near the 
river, running along behind the armory and under the shadow of the 
Holy Ghost Church. The house was kept by two kindly spinsters, 
Fraulein Eliza and Fraulein Gretchen; the food was good, everything 
neat and bright and homelike; he had a stove in his room. Most of the 
time there were two or three other Americans staying in the house, 
with whom to chat in the evenings, to go to see the Castle by moon- 
light — wishing Sallie were there instead — or to stroll on the Philoso- 
pher's Walk across the river. "If a pillar of fire had led me, it could 
hardly have brought me to a better home," he exulted. 

Best of all, the university was at hand. There was no campus in 
the American sense. The buildings were concentrated in the old part 
of the town, thick with romantic tradition. Rufus made no mention of 
the Student Prince, or the duelling, or of the prison where it was 
every German student's pride to spend some time and add his bit to the 
primitive art on the walls; he did not even mention the lecture hall, 


panelled and beautiful, to which he went at seven in the morning, but 
he was well aware of the stature of the men whom he heard there. 

He attended ten hours of lectures a week on Greek Philosophy, 
German Literature, and English Literature of the nineteenth century. 
Most of his work was with the celebrated German scholar, Kuno 
Fischer, "the most perfect lecturer in Germany." "He speaks and looks 
like a conqueror as he really is, for he has stormed many a fort intel- 
lectually," he wrote to Sallie. 

"These lectures settled for good and all my allegiance to philosophy. 
I had strayed off into the field of history and for a time I seemed likely 
to make history my major work, but after I had followed Kuno 
Fischer for a few weeks I knew that philosophy was to claim me 
henceforth — 'for this I was born.' My interest in mysticism had 
been steadily growing and deepening, and now I saw that the best 
approach to an understanding of this great human experience was to 
be found in philosophy and psychology." 

He also heard the celebrated Bunsen lecture — the inventor of the 
Bunsen burner known to every high school student — then seventy- 
five years old and greatly honored in his own university and through- 
out Europe. He read Emerson again and Goethe, congratulating him- 
self on not having read him when he was younger, "for he is full of 
dangers for a young undecided person." He rejoiced in the glorious 
unfolding of the spring, the light green of the larches, the tiny leaves 
of beeches, the blossoms of apricot, almond, peach, cherry, apple. 
And in Heidelberg the sixth of a line of oculists fitted him with the 
right glasses and he got relief from the pain and worry of his eyes. 

Once more he had to grapple with the problem of "next year." He 
could not endure the prospect of a return to the "humdrum, carthorse 
life" of Oakwood. He wrote to his cousin Augustine Jones and asked 
for a job at Providence Friends School, even though he had almost no 
hope, for Augustine Jones had gone on record against the practice of 
employing relatives. During the weeks when he waited for an answer, 
he wrote to Sallie: 

"It is not easy to be good . . . How do great souls decide their all 
important questions so quickly? Their whole life has been preparing 
them for the moment. I know how easy it is to talk; I know too how 
hard it is to act. I have fought — more than one would think. I do not 
always succeed, but I am in earnest in this business and I do not intend 
to be a knot in the tail of the devil's kite to help it fly . . . Sallie, thou 
knows that I aspire to be something and do something. What it shall be 


I do not know but this I know, that he who would ease the burdens 
of the world must himself breathe the 'ampler aether and diviner air.' 
. . . The day is past when to be good means to wear gray clothes and 
a long face. If any man is to be loaded with sunshine it is he who feels 
himself at peace with the world and its Creator." 

Late in April the offer came from Providence and was accepted with 
alacrity. "It is just the work that I want, German, French, and litera- 
ture, and I am to take the place of Dr. Wells, who is a character. My 
recompense for the first year will be $900 and all the potatoes I want 
to eat, which is as much as I ought to expect at the beginning and if 
I do as well as I hope it will of course in time be better." 

When he first wrote to Augustine Jones he had told his plans for 
marriage, and Augustine evidently passed the word along, so that soon 
he was getting congratulatory letters. "It makes me feel strong," he 
wrote, "when I think how many true, sincere friends are shouting 
God Speed to me and who wish that our life may be a real success." 

"I try more and more to live just what I am," he commented a few 
weeks later, "so that I may not deceive the world which by the way 
is very hard to do." 

Charles Jacob rejoined him in July, to his delight. They went to 
Worms, for Luther's sake, sailed down the Rhine ("in no way so grand 
as our own Hudson") visited Cologne, saw the battlefield of Waterloo 
with some of Ed Farr's family, and had a fortnight in Paris. There he 
visited the Louvre, enjoying most Murillo's Assumption of the Virgin 
and the Venus de Milo, of which he said, "It is the only statue of 
Venus which makes her anything more than a beautiful woman. Here 
she has more than human expression and her beauty is full of grandure 
[sic]. Her lovely face shows the consciousness of power." He also 
followed the trail of Napoleon, who was, incongruously, a hero of 
his. "For a deeply convinced Quaker I was strangely enamored of war 
heroes and battle scenes," he confessed in 1929, "and worst of all I 
had my money put up on the wrong horse! The years have pretty 
thoroughly corrected my perspective, though with all my pacifism I 
still glow over ancient battlefields!" 

After a few days in London, he sailed for home at the end of July. 
Immediately on landing in New York he went to Ardonia to see 
Sallie. It had been a long and difficult year for her. She had had to 
leave Oakwood and go home to nurse her much loved Aunt Mary 
through her last illness and death. She had lost twenty pounds. 


Fresh Fields 

«^» .^. i^ r^» .-^. «^. .^i r^» r^i i^ r^i r^» 

Oince Rufus and Sallie could not be married until he had earned and 
saved enough to repay the money he had borrowed for his year in 
Europe, he went alone to Providence in September. He found there 
a congenial group of young teachers, among whom was George A. 
Barton, Haverford '82, who was to become one of his closest friends 
and associates. 

Sallie was in Ardonia, teaching in the one-room district school every- 
thing, she said, "from primer to physiology." She began with twenty- 
three pupils, but by the time she resigned in March she had seventy. 
Besides the work in the school, which was heavy, though she wrote 
of it lightly enough, she had to do a great deal of housework at home, 
when her stepmother was ill. Rufus was troubled. "I love to think 
of thee as a strong, well woman," he wrote, "who can walk, row and 
study with me. It would change everything if thou should get weak. 
Thou must think how much is at stake." 

Though James Coutant was a Friend, Sallie's own mother, Elizabeth 
Griggs had not been one, and Sallie herself was not. In October she 

DO ' ' 

wrote to Rufus, "I will gladden thy heart by telling thee that I sent in 
a request for membership last Wednesday ... I feel a great deal better 
now that it is done, and I already have visions of two old Friends, 
jogging along to 'Select Meetin'. I did it for love of thee and because 
I thought it a good place for me." She had not acted hastily. They had 
discussed it in their letters the previous April. 



About that time there was a great meeting of Friends in Richmond, 
Indiana, attended by ninety-nine delegates from yearly meetings in the 
United States, England, Ireland, and Canada. Uncle Eli and Augustine 
Jones were there to represent New England, and J. Bevan Braithwaite 
came from London. After the Conference all three stopped at Provi- 
dence Friends School, where no doubt Rufus heard them discuss is- 
sues and problems that were to occupy much of his thought and 
energy and call forth his powers of leadership in years to come. The 
Richmond Declaration of Faith, with which he was to wrestle re- 
peatedly, was drawn up by that Conference. 

He was enjoying his teaching. He had discovered in himself the 
power of interpretation of great ideas and the ability to quicken the 
enthusiasm of the students. He gave freely of himself in the process. 
"My classes are in fine condition," he wrote, "but they take the life out 
of me, for I cannot teach in a cold, business way. It comes out of me 
warm with my life blood." 

In the spring he began to plan his first book, which was to be a 
biography of Eli and Sybil Jones. As Whittier had long been a friend 
of Uncle Eli, Rufus asked him to write an introduction for the book. 
The poet refused, but he invited Rufus to come and see him in his 
house, Oak Knoll, in Danvers, Massachusetts. For most of a day they 
talked together, a day which Rufus rated on a par with his visit to 
John Bright. Whittier, then old and frail but luminous and full of 
insight, urged the young man to stand for the primitive, mystical 
Quakerism rather than the authoritarian, evangelical doctrines which 
were then sweeping the Society of Friends. He held, Rufus Jones was 
to write many years later, the "yeasty doctrine of immanence in sane 
balance with the equally important fact of transcendence. He is never 
swept off his feet, or carried into the swirl of an engulfing pantheism 
... At the time of my visit to him in 1 887 he criticized the tendency to 
pantheism in Emerson's writings, and he told me that he had more 
than once expressed this feeling to Emerson himself." To Rufus Jones 
Whittier was beyond question the wisest and most profound inter- 
preter of Quakerism during the half century between 1830 and 1880. 

In April, when Rufus went to visit Sallie during his spring vacation, 
they set the date of their wedding. Rufus was determined that they 
should be married in strict accordance with Friends discipline which 
required that the engaged couple should inform their respective 
monthly meetings of their intentions. The monthly meetings would 
then appoint Friends to visit the young people to ascertain their 


"clearness," after which the couple was said to have "passed meeting" 
and could proceed with arrangements for the ceremony. At Plattekill 
Meeting, however, this process had been allowed to fall into neglect 
and Sallie, a new member, was reluctant to revive it. 

"Thou can get consent of thy meeting," she wrote persuasively to 
Rufus, "and / will elope. I have come over to thy faith and manner of 
being married and now let us compromise." 

Rufus, however, would not yield, and two weeks later she described 
her capitulation with rueful humor, and incidentally gave a vivid 
picture of a small rural meeting in the 1880's. 

"Well Rufus we have set all Plattekill agog. When thy letter came 
with that folded paper in it, my heart sank for I did so dislike to have 
this very prying community gratified by so much preliminary business, 
so thou will have to love me very much more for yielding to thy 
wishes ... Pa went to Preparative Meeting and handed the paper 
to the clerk, Georgia's father. When he read it a fervent 'praise the 
Lord' burst from Sammie Birdsall, and all the women Friends who 
had been thinking about their dinners, opened their eyes and ears. 
It was the first thing of the kind in twelve years. So many spoke about 
it and in fact they had a very amusing time. One man said that he 
had always liked me and now he was glad to see that I was not 
ashamed of my prospects. David Sampson said, 'I feel that I must 
pray for them' and he knelt down and put up a fervent prayer for the 
two brave ones who had gone back to the straight Friends' principles, 
so thou sees what a commotion we are making." 

Though Rufus had stood out so firmly for straight Friends prin- 
ciples, he evidently forgot to do his part in his own meeting and two 
weeks before the wedding Sallie wrote to him with barely concealed 
triumph, "Dost know that thou must send a paper before next Wednes- 
day from thy Monthly Meeting showing thy clearness of engage- 
ments?" In a tender "last letter" to Sallie "as a single sister," written 
a week before their marriage, Rufus poured out his hopes and resolu- 
tions for their future. "I hope I shall not be autocratical," he said. "I 
propose to look up to thee, but I shall often look for graceful yielding 
on thy part." 

The wedding took place at noon on the third of July, 1888, in the 
front sitting-room of Sallie's home, a spacious old house surrounded 
by evergreen trees. Three children were present, Rhoda Birdsall and 
her sister Mary, and William Battey, a nephew of Sallie's stepmother, 
who grew up to marry Rhoda. Twelve-year-old William remembered 


especially the wonderful wedding meal, which Sallie must have helped 
to prepare. Early in June, we know from her letters to Rufus, she was 
at work on the fruit cake. She was married in her going-away dress 
of brown or gray, and she took the trousseau over which she had 
labored all spring on her wedding trip to South China. Rufus wore 
a new suit with a Prince Albert coat, made for the occasion, and he had 
now acquired the moustache which he kept for the rest of his life. 

They spent the summer at the Providence Friends School, which 
Augustine Jones had asked Rufus to hold down for him while he 
went to Europe. "Beautiful grounds, fine sky, water not far off," Rufus 
had set forth its attractions when the proposal first came up, "trees 
as old as this century, and good people, what more do you want, ex- 
cept books, of which there would be nearly 9,000." 

During this first summer of their married life, Rufus wrote his book 
about Eli and Sybil Jones, which was published by Porter and Coates 
of Philadelphia the following year. It was an act of love and piety as 
well as his first real venture in writing. His style was still unformed; 
he used well-worn evangelical terms instead of the fresh-minted vivid 
phrases that marked his later manner, and he had not yet mastered the 
art of simplicity; but it was a milestone for him and he was glad that 
Uncle Eli was still there to read it. 

In February of 1890, Eli Jones died. He had had pneumonia and 
Rufus had gone to South China to be with him. He asked to be lifted 
up to see the lake, and so, in Rufus's arms, he died. "No one else can 
affect me as he did," wrote Rufus to Ellen Clare Pearson. 

By that time Rufus and Sallie Jones were living in Vassalboro, only 
ten miles from South China. 

At the end of his second year at Friends School, Rufus had intended 
to go to Harvard for graduate study in philosophy. "This is not to be 
my future home," he had written to Sallie during his first year at 
Providence, "and I hope some time to be ready for higher work." But 
when an offer came, in the spring of 1889, of the principalship of Oak 
Grove Seminary, Sallie urged him to take it and postpone his graduate 
year. "She felt," he wrote in The Trail of Life in College, "that 
it would give us both opportunity and scope for the development of 
capacities and powers in us which so far had not been drawn upon." 

Howard H. Brinton, in his illuminating book, Friends for 300 Years, 
has written: "The co-educational Quaker Boarding School was a 
unique institution carried on like a large family. The heads of such 
a school were, as in the case of a family, a man and wife, who divided 


executive responsibilities." Such a school was Oak Grove Seminary, 
founded in 1850 "for the guarded and religious education of the chil- 
dren of Friends." New England Yearly Meeting owned the property, 
and a committee managed the school, which included a Primary De- 
partment, as well as the equivalent of a modern Secondary School. 

The buildings were not those which Rufus had known during his 
term there in 1878, for the school had burned down in 1887 and had 
been entirely rebuilt. The new school was "modern," with steam heat, 
bathrooms with hot and cold water, and "Rochester burners" for 
lighting. The boys and girls had separate wings, each with its own 
sitting room; the central part, topped by an elegant cupola, held the 
dining-room, the library of 350 volumes, the mineral collection donated 
by Eli Jones, the classrooms and administrative offices and the living 
quarters of the principal and his wife. A square front porch looked 
down over the school's six acres to the Kennebec River and the stretch 
of country lying beyond. A windmill supplied the water and broke 
down at inconvenient moments. 

Running the school, with its six or seven teachers and 1 1 8 pupils, 
one of whom was Sallie's half-sister Emma, called forth all the energy 
and ability of the young pair. Sallie, whom one of the pupils remembers 
as "an outstanding beauty and very capable," was matron and teacher 
of Botany. She kept hens to insure an ample supply of fresh eggs, and 
it is certain that under her rule no hungry boy ate cold pie in his 
bedroom when there was a hot meal in the dining-room downstairs. 
She was passionately fond of flowers and she collected specimens for 
her Botany classes from the woods and fields round about. 

At first Herbert Jones acted as business manager for his brother, but 
this arrangement was only temporary, and soon Rufus included among 
his duties that of driving around the countryside behind a white horse 
named Napoleon buying firewood and other supplies for the school. 
He taught. He carried the responsibility for the meeting. 

Meeting was attended twice a week by both the school and local 
Friends, and Rufus Jones, who was now recorded as a minister by 
China Monthly Meeting and Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting, found that 
most of the speaking devolved upon him. It was a burden for a young 
man whose mind must have been cumbered with many practical prob- 
lems and necessities, but it was also a training for him and a prepara- 

To the pupils these four years were wonderful ones. They were 
hostile to their new principal at first, for they had liked the former 


one and resented his dismissal. They tried Rufus out with exploding 
matches and other forms of deviltry, but he soon had them in the 
hollow of his hand. "He was always just, radiant, interesting, inspir- 
ing," said one of them, Nettie Burleigh, who graduated in 1892 and 
went on to Mt. Holyoke College. Guy B. Healey, a lawyer in Boston, 
wrote to Rufus Jones in 1934, "I think the turning point in my life 
was when at the end of the evening study hour as the boys filed out 
of the room you motioned me to come to your desk. When I did so, 
you merely said, 'Guy, I would like to have you go to college. Good 
night.' That was all. Up to that time, I had never seriously thought of 
going to college, but from that moment I decided that if you felt that 
there was anything in me, perhaps there was." 

If the winters were breathless, the summers at any rate were times 
of comparative leisure, when the springs could fill up again. Colby 
College was only five miles away and Rufus Jones found in its library 
the books he needed to go on with his study of Philosophy. Josiah 
Royce's Spirit of Modern Philosophy and William James's two- 
volume Psychology were "epochs" for him and their authors would 
be "major influences" in shaping his later thought. 

The greatest event of those four hard-working valuable years, in- 
deed one of the greatest events of his life, was the "divine miracle" of 
the birth of his son on January 23, 1892. The experience of hearing 
this child's first cry and holding him in his arms was indescribably 
thrilling, and the wonder of it never faded. "We fell in love with each 
other from the start." 

The baby was named Lowell, after the poet, and Coutant, for his 
mother's family. Both Rufus and Sallie ardently admired the poet. 
Rufus had made him the subject of his "junior oration" in college; his 
letters bristled with quotations from Lowell, one of his favorites be- 
ing, "Nothing is safe from thought that keeps thought out." "It isn't 
that I regard Lowell as so much greater than many others," he had 
written to Sallie from Nimes, "but only that he says just what I would 
have said if I had thought of it before he did." 

In 1893, as the fourth year at Oak Grove was drawing to an end, 
he again arranged to go to Harvard for his graduate work, and again 
his plan was broken into by a call to service. He was offered the editor- 
ship of The Friends Review, that same Quaker weekly which had 
come to his house when he was a child. 

It is necessary at this point to sketch rapidly the Quaker separations 
of the nineteenth century and to attempt to trace some of the currents 


that made up the whirlpool of Quakerism at the time when Rufus 
Jones first began to emerge as a leader. "Sallie, I love the Society of 
Friends," he had written six years earlier, "and I believe the good 
part will triumph." He saw it always as a movement rather than a 
sect and related its problems to universal questions of religion, but he 
knew it also in its pettiest and most thorny aspects. 

The bitter separation of 1827 left Philadelphia Quakers, together 
with some in Maryland, Ohio and New York, divided between the 
Hicksites and the Orthodox. There was more social and organizational 
division and less doctrinal difference between the two than anyone 
was willing to recognize at the time, but broadly speaking the Hick- 
sites were the more liberal group, the Orthodox the more conservative, 
believing themselves to be a "remnant" guarding the precious heritage 
of Quakerism. The periodical of the Hicksites was the Friends Intel- 
ligencer, that of the Orthodox, The Friend, popularly called "The 
Square Friend," because of its shape. 

Eighteen years later a second controversy took place, known as 
the Wilbur-Gurney Separation of 1845, after the names of the two 
leaders around whom the issues clustered. Joseph John Gurney had 
come over from England a, handsome, scholarly, and magnetic figure, 
brother of the famous Elizabeth Fry, and had preached a powerful, 
evangelical doctrine, basically Calvinistic in its teachings in regard to 
the Bible, the nature of man, and salvation. When John Wilbur in 
New England Yearly Meeting opposed this much-admired English 
Friend, the Yearly Meeting as a whole supported Gurney and dis- 
owned Wilbur who, with his followers, set up a second organization 
in New England and other parts of the country. 

In Philadelphia the Hicksite group went on its way unaffected. The 
Orthodox body was not actually divided but it felt the tug of the two 
currents throughout its meetings. The Friends Review was founded 
in 1848 by sympathizers of the Gurneyites; it supported the cause of 
Bible schools and foreign missions, and it was widely read in both 
east and west. 

Howard H. Brinton sums up the situation in the second half of the 
nineteenth century in these words: "The Hicksites represented the 
more mystical, liberal, non-creedal branch; the Gurneyites the more 
evangelical, authoritative and theologically conservative branch; and 
the Wilburites a branch whose position was between the two." But, 
he goes on to say, although the Wilburites were closest to the original 
Quakerism, "there was an important difference. The code of behavior 


which the first Friends arrived at through immediate experience of 
the Inward Light, the Wilburites, with many exceptions, tended to 
accept in large measure on the basis of tradition." What complicated 
the situation still further was that the Gurneyites, whose theology is 
by present standards conservative, were called the Progressives, while 
the Wilburites, whose theology is more liberal, were the conservatives. 

Meanwhile another division was gathering in the Middle West and 
South. The revivalist movement, which swept the country in the 
sixties and seventies with its Moody and Sankey hymns, its emotional 
fervor, its ecstatic conversions, influenced the Society of Friends in 
those regions that had been somewhat prepared for it by the doctrine 
of Joseph John Gurney. Where the Quaker silence had grown static 
and empty, the new "awakening" seemed to bring in a fresh power 
and vitality. Furthermore in the mid- Western Quaker communities, 
many who were touched by revivalist preaching joined the Society 
of Friends because there was no other place locally to go. Knowing 
little or nothing of Quaker history and thought, they had no under- 
standing of the silent meeting and no inherited love for it. They wanted 
hymns, Bible reading and prepared sermons. Pastors and programmed 
services of the Presbyterian or Methodist type followed naturally, 
though in theory a spirit-led worship was maintained. The organ of 
this group was The Christian Worker, started in Ohio in 187 1. 

In 1893 The Friends Review was in a critical condition. Owing to 
the competition of The Christian Worker, itself in none too healthy a 
condition, its subscriptions had fallen off disastrously. Dr. Henry 
Hartshorne, its editor, was discouraged and wished to resign. The 
publication committee, which consisted of several rich and influential 
Friends, decided to reorganize the paper "under vigorous editorial 
management" and give it greater financial backing. At the suggestion 
of Isaac Sharpless, who remembered Rufus's conduct of the Haver- 
fordian, Rufus Jones was offered the position of managing editor and 
publisher, "clothed with ample powers," at a salary of $2000 a year 
and a possible opportunity to teach Philosophy at Haverford. 

Rufus Jones wrapped up his dream of graduate study at Harvard 
and put it back on the shelf. He would consider this assignment, he re- 
plied, if the teaching at Haverford became a certainty. Isaac Sharpless, 
since 1887 President of the college, offered him a course in Philosophy 
and two rooms on the third floor of Founders' Hall. The school com- 
mittee at Oak Grove was reluctant to release him, but by the 22 nd of 
May it was all settled. 

A Meeting on a Mountain Top 

■^ ,^i »i i» 1-^-1 r» n» '» <T» «^> *$* «^> «^» .1^. - 

Jlvufus jones preceded Sallie and nineteen-months-old Lowell to 
Haverford in August, in order to get out his first issue of The Friends 
Review on the twenty-fourth. The first thing in it was a poem, "God- 
minster Chimes," by James Russell Lowell. Then the young editor 
stated his policy. 

"It [The Friends Review] is not designed to be the organ of a party 
or section, and it knows nothing of divisions but aims to advocate 
and proclaim safe, sound, consistent methods and policies in individual 
life, in public action and in the Church, seeking as ever before to main- 
tain and honor spiritual realities rather than forms and traditions.' 1 '' 

In succeeding numbers he set forth his ideas of salvation as a trans- 
formation of life rather than a theological transaction; of divine im- 
manence; of the nature of the Inner Light; of truth as a personal ex- 
perience instead of a statement to which the mind gives assent; of the 
place of mysticism in the history of Christian thought. A new voice 
was speaking in the Society of Friends, fresh, fearless, compelling. Not 
many heard it at this stage, but to those who were listening it bore the 
authentic note of prophecy. 

The men who were backing this new enterprise financially, with 
moral support and counsel, and by the contribution of articles, knew 
well the quality of the man they had discovered. Isaac Sharpless, now 
forty-five, past his early awkwardness and maturing into a wise and 
gifted leader and scholar; David Scull, trustee of Bryn Mawr, manager 
of Haverford, practical business man and saintly character; James E. 

6 4 


Wood of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., also on the boards of both colleges, prob- 
ably at the time the best-known Friend in the United States; James E. 
Rhoads, president of Bryn Mawr and a former editor of The Friends 
Review, James Carey Thomas, leading Friend and physician of Balti- 
more and father of M. Carey Thomas, dean of Bryn Mawr; T. Wistar 
Brown, president of the Haverford Board, businessman and philan- 
thropist: John B. Garrett of Rosemont, vice-president of the Lehigh 
Valley Railroad, member of the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Boards: 
these were some of the men who stood behind Rufus Jones, men of 
influence who had a wide knowledge of Friends of all kinds. Starting, 
most of them, with the Gurneyite point of view, they were ready to 
modify it with the findings of modern science and historical study. 
They gave to the young editor their friendship as well as their en- 
couragement and assistance. The seasoned wisdom of their minds, their 
affection and their faith in him, the quiet elegance of their hospitable 
homes gave him a new kind of social experience and helped to develop 
his self-confidence. 

These were all prominent Quakers, but most of them were not 
members of the inner councils of the Orthodox Philadelphia Yearly 
Meeting. This citadel was not yet breached. To at least one of the 
Yearly Meeting elders the young prophet was "that man Jones." They 
did not like his emphasis on a thinking ministry; they distrusted equally 
his tolerant attitude toward Quaker pastors and programmed meetings 
and his adoption of modern thought and the so-called Higher Criti- 
cism; they looked askance at his moustache. Perhaps most distasteful 
of all was his hardihood in commenting on the occasional flaws that 
he found in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting itself. 

He reported in The Friends Review on the sessions of Philadelphia 
Yearly Meeting in 1 894. After praising its continuity, its sincerity, its 
"spirit of broad charity," he went on to say that he saw in it too much 
stress on specific observances and minor details, too little utterance 
of great general principles, no new messages of truth, no encourage- 
ment of the young to dedicate themselves to the advance of truth and 
the service of mankind. It was the criticism of a young man, but there 
was enough truth in it to sting. 

It would have seemed the natural thing for Rufus Jones to move his 
membership from China Monthly Meeting to Philadelphia, and some 
urged him to do so. T. Wistar Brown, knowing well the scene and the 
climate, advised him not to: there was a very good chance that he 
might not have been accepted. 


Believing that he should know more, personally and individually, of 
the constituency of The Friends Review and give them a chance to 
know him in the flesh, he made that autumn and winter the first of 
innumerable trips into the region of western Quakerism. This begin- 
ning was somewhat tentative and limited. He met the leading Friends 
of Cincinnati, of Richmond, Indiana, and of the surrounding districts. 
At Earlham College in Richmond, he lectured to the students on Dante 
and thus made his first contact with a Quaker college not his own. 
Through it all, he was seeking primarily to understand. 

Even on this first trip he saw that the pastoral system had come to 
stay and that it would have to be accepted by Friends in the east who 
tended to think that it was not Quakerism at all but something quite 
different and inferior when meetings were programmed and a "hireling 
minister" preached. The realization of this fact spurred him on to seek 
the deeper meaning of Quakerism and to find the essentials on which 
all could unite. 

The Friends Review, though it appeared in an attractive new format 
and though it contained in addition to the excellent editorials good 
articles by leading Friends, still gained no new subscribers. Some 
remedy was necessary and Rufus Jones characteristically found a 
daring answer. Why not combine it with its rival, The Christian 
Worker, to form a new paper altogether? 

The Christian Worker also was in a fainting condition and its editor 
was tired and disposed to welcome the proposition. In May, 1894, 
Rufus Jones, Isaac Sharpless, Allen Thomas and James Wood met in 
conference with representatives of The Christian Worker and they 
came to a decision. The two papers were to merge under the title 
The American Friend, to be edited by Rufus Jones. The new editor 
told the western Friends frankly that he could not adopt the position 
of The Christian Worker, but that he was ready to widen his interests 
and broaden his sympathies, to try to understand western Friends and 
to interpret for them and others "a fresh and vital type of Christianity 
inwardly mystical and outwardly socially constructive." The first 
issue of the new paper was to appear on July 19, 1894, not quite a 
year since Rufus Jones had come to Philadelphia. 

During this decisive year he had also been an instructor at Haver- 
ford, teaching Psychology, which was then still a new subject. The 
University of Pennsylvania had established the first chair in the United 
States exclusively assigned to Psychology only five years earlier, to 
be followed the next year by Harvard, when William James became 
Professor of Psychology. Rufus Jones's study of the two volumes 


of James's massive Principles of Psychology, published in 1890, con- 
stituted his preparation for his task. The following year he added 
a course in the History of Philosophy and the year after that one on 
English History and a seminar on Constitutional History. To meet 
these new responsibilities his Haverford salary mounted in 1896 to 

In 1893 when Rufus Jones came to Haverford, three other young 
men also joined the faculty as instructors: Wilfred P. Mustard of 
Toronto, Henry S. Pratt, from Harvard, and James A. Babbitt from 
Yale. Henry Pratt and Rufus Jones, who became lifelong friends, 
read together the Purgatorio and the Paradiso in Italian during that 
first winter. W. P. Mustard, Dr. Francis Gummere and Rufus Jones 
inaugurated golf on the campus. James A. Babbitt was to be active 
with Rufus Jones twenty years later in the early work of the Ameri- 
can Friends Service Committee. 

It was the largest addition to the faculty that had ever been made at 
one time, and housing was a problem. Like most newcomers, they had 
a term in "the elastic quarters of Founders' Hall." Rufus and Sallie and 
the baby occupied two rooms on the third floor until they found more 
comfortable lodging in the house of their friends George and Carrie 
Barton. George Barton had come from Providence to Bryn Mawr 
as professor of Biblical Literature, and for many years the two families 
were the closest friends. In 1896 Rufus Jones was able to rent a 
house, number seven College Lane, on the Haverford campus. 

Whatever else his interests and concerns, the students, now and 
for many years to come, were primary. The purpose of education, as 
he saw it, was not the stuffing of the mind with information, but the 
development of life and character. Besides his classroom work he felt a 
deep responsibility for the meetings for worship on Sundays and 
Thursdays, and he was determined to give the students messages that 
should have real meaning for them and direct bearing on their lives. It 
was at this time that he developed his own characteristic way of speak- 
ing, simply, conversationally, as if he were talking to a single person, 
using homely illustrations and not being afraid of a humorous story 
if it illumined his point. Generations of Haverford students have 
testified to the inspiration which those talks of Rufus Jones gave them. 
"It has always been a matter of amazement to me," wrote one, "and 
I am sure to many others, to recall that during the four years when I 
would attend those Fifth Day meetings you never repeated yourself 
and always gave us something that was worth while." 

The American Friend aroused immediate interest. Its subscription 


list grew week by week. Each issue contained two or three editorials 
by Rufus Jones, articles by leading eastern and western Friends, pre- 
senting varied points of view, and regular departments of Bible study, 
missions, and news notes about Friends sent in by correspondents from 
different sections. It sought to maintain the precarious balance between 
staying open to discussion of different aspects of a subject and slipping 
into acrimonious controversy. Always the editor strove to find the 
fundamental thought and the basis of underlying unity, to place 
ideas in their historical perspective, to interpret Quakerism as George 
Fox conceived it, to persuade his readers that religious truth and 
scientific truth need not be enemies, that the Bible studied in the 
light of historical knowledge gained rather than lost in power and il- 

"Quakerism was ... a return to the simple, every-day, Christ-like 
life of the early Christians at Antioch and Jerusalem," he wrote. "As 
to this company Christ was always present, directing all their work and 
inspiring them, so with the Friends of those first years." 

And again, "The kernel of his [George Fox's] mission was to bring 
men to Christ Himself and to leave them with Him, to show that 
a religion which does not make new creatures is only a sham religion, 
and to prove that genuine religion, embodied in genuine lives, is an 
irresistible, transforming force." 

The mail was full of response to this new periodical, letters of 
praise, letters of judicious comment, letters of criticism, written some 
of them in that intemperate language people use who have no imagina- 
tion to see the face at the other end. "Several of thy articles in The 
American Friend lately have seemed to me most timely and most 
valuable as expositions of the real spirit of Quakerism," wrote a 
Philadelphia Friend, while from Indiana came the charge, "You have 
refused to print some pieces that some of our true ones have sent you. 
You failed to print them because you are afraid of your reputation." 
"I have grown to love you and our paper," a Friend wrote from 
Brooklyn. A western Friend found the paper full of "good sense, 
literary ability and religious fervor," while a Philadelphian, objecting 
to the tolerant attitude toward pastors, angrily desired his name to be 
removed from the subscription list. Both eastern and western Friends 
complained that the other side was given the advantage in the paper. It 
won the "warm sympathy" of M. Carey Thomas, now president of 
Bryn Mawr. Cousin Augustine Jones waited three months after the 
first issue and then delivered his judgment to his former pupil. While 
the editorials "state many true and beautiful features of the society," 


came the word from the headmaster's office, they did not "put in origi- 
nal, native, clear, irresistible, red-hot logic that which distinguishes 
the Society of Friends from everything else in history." 

Even if the logic was not red-hot, still the subscription list grew 
steadily, and English Friends took notice of the new periodical and its 
editor and found good in both. 

There was a great stirring in the mulberry trees in England. In 
1895 English Friends held a conference at Manchester, which Elbert 
Russell declared to be "a turning point in Quaker history." Whereas 
the Richmond Conference in 1887, seeking for unity, had produced 
a conservative Declaration of Faith, the Manchester Conference met 
with a clear realization of the demands of the age and a determination 
that Friends should be ready to meet them and to take their place 
in the work of the world. Friends must know much more about their 
Quaker heritage, must meet squarely the questions posed by science 
and modern study of the Bible, and they must deal with social questions 
and social needs. The first obvious result was the establishment of sum- 
mer schools to study religious and social questions on modern lines. 

This conference threw up, as such gatherings sometimes do, a young 
leader of real potentialities, John Wilhelm Rowntree, who said in 
effect just what Rufus Jones was saying in the United States: "Let us 
in our message offer that which is beyond all creeds — the evidence in 
our lives of communion with the spirit of God." 

During these early years of The American Friend, Rufus Jones 
was extending his knowledge and understanding of all types of 
Quakers in the United States. He attended yearly meetings and spoke 
at Quaker colleges in Kansas, Indiana, and North Carolina, writing 
his editorials on trains and hurrying from the station to his class- 
rooms after a restless night on a sleeper. 

Now it occurred to one of the "elder statesmen" of The America?! 
Friend board that Rufus Jones ought to know something of English 
Friends also. Lying awake one night he remembered his own joy in 
Switzerland and wanted his young friend to have that experience of 
beauty also. Accordingly David Scull proposed to send Rufus Jones 
abroad in May 1897 t0 attend London Yearly Meeting and to travel 
afterwards in Italy and Switzerland. 

It was a great opportunity, but it meant leaving Sallie behind with 
burdens. Though there was an office assistant for The American 
Friend and Rufus himself would send home editorials, still Sallie 
would have to oversee the getting out of the paper. She had three 
or four students boarding in their house, to supplement their small 


income, and until Commencement was over they must be cared for. 
Then she must get the house ready to rent for the summer, and as 
she was a meticulous housekeeper, this meant an immense amount of 
work to meet her exacting standards. When that was done she and 
Lowell, who was now five, were to go to Wernersville in the Pennsyl- 
vania mountains, where, it was hoped, Sallie could get rid of a cough 
that had been troubling her ever since an attack of bronchitis the pre- 
vious fall. 

One after another the pieces fell into place and early in May Rufus 
sailed on the Lucania. He was troubled about leaving Sallie, and the 
editorials he wrote on shipboard did not suit him. "It just escapes 
being idiotic," he complained of one. But when he reached Liverpool, 
after a short visit to Ireland, he found a welcoming letter from his 
friend Rendel Harris. Harris, foremost New Testament scholar at 
that time, who, after teaching six years at Haverford, had returned 
to England and Clare College, Cambridge, was one of the group of 
young English Friends who were moving forward into the new age 
with a spirit of confidence. John Wilhelm Rowntree said of him, "He 
is Puck turned saint and now and then Puck gets so much the upper 
hand." It was no doubt Puck who sent the message which contained 
a single sentence: "Are thee there, Rufus?" 
Jubilantly Rufus replied, "I are." 

London Yearly Meeting, which was held in Devonshire House, 
in Bishopsgate, London, the central headquarters for English Friends, 
was very impressive to the young American, who confessed to find- 
ing it something of a strain to be almost the only visiting Friend. As he 
went from meeting to meeting, attending plenary sessions, committees, 
and executive groups, he was filled with admiration for English 
Friends, for their social concern, their ability to think clearly and to 
express themselves competently without fumbling for words, for 
their fidelity to the principles of Quakerism, and for the numbers of 
them who were qualified to take responsibility for the work of the 
Society of Friends. 

"I believe there is no other body in the world which represents 
original Quakerism so nearly as does this one," he wrote to The 
American Friend . . . "They have as the early Friends had in their time 
an open heart for the needs of society in this age." He found things 
also to criticize: too much speaking, a "waste of words," and "a lack of 
warmth and heartiness, — I do not mean shouting or fervid enthusiasm 
— but warm heart love which flows over many of our meetings and 
binds us into one." 


There was certainly no lack of personal warmth to him. This time 
English Friends welcomed him, not for Uncle Eli's sake, but for 
his own. After going to a London tailor and ordering a suit and an 
overcoat, revisiting Westminster Abbey and standing with one foot 
on Tennyson's grave and one on Browning's, "a deeply affecting 
experience," as he wrote to Sallie, he went to Oxford with Thomas 
Hodgkin ("the ablest and most noted man in the Y.M.") for the 
boat races and dined at Balliol, to Ludlow with Henry S. Newman, 
editor of the Friend (London), to Birmingham to visit the Cad- 
burys, to see their famous chocolate works and the model town which 
they were building for their 2200 workers, to Swarthmore Hall and 
the Lake Country, to Bamborough Castle, where the Hodgkins lived 
in the Keep, and to Cambridge to stay with Rendel Harris. Every- 
where he went he picked flowers for Lowell, which he pressed and 
sent home in his letters. Lowell, a slender, ardent, sensitive child, 
had a passionate love of flowers, learning the Latin botanical names 
along with his nursery rhymes. 

In the middle of June Rufus Jones and Rendel Harris went together 
to Switzerland on a walking trip. They planned their day's marches so 
as to arrive at Miirren on a week end, when they could meet a party 
of English Friends from York who were staying there. Though 
Rendel Harris was a delightful companion, full of amusing talk on all 
kinds of topics from folklore to the church fathers, Rufus Jones was 
low in his mind. He had not heard from Sallie in some time; the weather 
was bad; rain and snow blotted out the Jungfrau, the Eiger and the 
Monk. But at Miirren everything changed. There was a letter from 
Sallie; and John Wilhelm Rowntree, who had not been at London 
Y.M., was here in Switzerland. He was the son of one of England's 
three great chocolate families. Five years younger than Rufus Jones, 
he was, like him, immensely concerned for Quakerism, seeing it faced 
with the possibility either of withering into a tiny sect interesting 
only to antiquarians, or of expanding into a spiritual force adequate 
to the needs of the day and the future. A young man with thick, wavy 
hair, deep-set eyes, clear features, brown moustache, he had a mag- 
netic personality in which gentleness and heroism were combined, 
and there was about him that luminous quality that comes from suffer- 
ing courageously met and from the experiential knowledge of God. 
Five or six years earlier he had developed an obscure kidney disease 
which was slowly but irrevocably destroying his hearing and his eye- 
sight and threatening his memory. With darkness and silence ahead of 
him, but upheld by an extraordinary experience in which he knew 


beyond any doubt the power of the love of God, he was seeking to 
devote the years that remained to him to "making the Society of 
Friends a real and living force in the world." 

The group of fifteen Friends, five of whom were recorded ministers, 
as a matter of course held a meeting for worship in the hotel on 
Sunday morning. 

"It was a heavenly meeting," wrote Rufus to Sallie, "and at the close 
thy letter came. I had been praying most earnestly in my heart for 
thee and the burden of our little meeting was love. I have solemnly 
resolved to love more deeply and more truly and to be a sweeter 

The rest of the day, while the rain dashed against the window panes 
and the great mountains were hidden behind clouds, Rufus Jones 
and John Wilhelm Rowntree talked the hours away. They agreed 
on the problems of Quakerism, they shared a vision of its future, they 
planned the means for bringing it about. They should both take part 
in the summer schools projected by the Manchester Conference. They 
should write a history and interpretation of the Society of Friends, and 
Rufus's part would be to relate it to the other mystical movements 
in the Christian Church. There should be a magazine for the modern 
Quaker point of view, thoughtful, fearless, open. There should be, in 
addition to summer schools, a permanent "settlement" where Friends 
could study religious and social questions. 

Their imaginations kindled each other; their enthusiasms matched. 
They gave each other strength. They decided that once a year they 
would meet, whether in England or America — a plan which was 
actually followed out as long as John Wilhelm Rowntree lived, for 
though Rufus did not go again to England until 1901, John Wilhelm 
Rowntree came regularly to the United States to consult a doctor in 
Chicago who helped him. 

The next day the mountains emerged in snow-topped glory after 
the storm. After an uncomfortable night — "we [Rendel Harris and 
Rufus] occupy the same room always avec deux lits. I am all bitten 
up with bugs de lits" — they saw the sunrise over the Jiingfrau, and 
walked together all day, talking, talking. "We both knew before the 
day was over that we were to be comrades for the rest of life." 

At Grindelwald they parted, and Rufus Jones and Rendel Harris 
went on to Meiringen and Lugano, where it was warm enough to 
swim in the lake, and to Axenstern, as David Scull had planned. July 
fourth found Rufus Jones in Dresden, planted before the Sistine 
Madonna. "I am almost afraid I am not going to be able to enter 


fully into the greatness," he wrote in some bewilderment. "It is a 
tremendous test of a man and I came home dreadfully humiliated. 
I felt like a pygmy trying to comprehend the world and I knew my 
life was too shallow and unripe to fathom such a miracle of concep- 
tion. I am going again tomorrow." 

At first Sallie wrote cheerfully from the boarding house in Werners- 
ville, where the other guests were all old and doddering. "This place 
is as beautiful as the garden of Eden," she commented with dry humor, 
"and there is much less chance of sinning." But very soon, the tone 
changed. She was not feeling well and her fellow boarders depressed 
her. She had decided to leave Wernersville and take Lowell home 
to Ardonia. She was tired of staying alone "night after night for 

Her husband's quick sympathy penetrated the slightly querulous 
surface to the real trouble beneath. He wrote in great distress from 
Berlin: "It was a serious mistake for me ever to come and leave thee 
and I have deeply and bitterly condemned myself for allowing myself 
to be led astray, but that is now of the past and I shall try to make 
up to thee in some true way for the long and lonely period of 

The Roentgen Lirise docked in New York on July 16th. He had 
been away only a little over two months. During that time he had 
entered on a friendship that was to be of immense importance both 
to him and to the Society of Friends. Through his contact with English 
Quaker thought, he had come to a new vision of the social as well as 
the spiritual task of Quakerism. The trip was essential for the architec- 
ture of his life. 

But at home tragedy awaited him. A letter from Sallie met him 
at the dock. 

"I feel that it is not right," she had written, "for thee to come up 
here without knowing that for a little time more we must be separated. 
God give me grace and strength to write so that thou may get just 
the right idea of the situation. I have learned today that it is neces- 
sary for me to go to the Adirondacks and place myself under the 
care of Dr. Trudeau the great lung specialist if I ever hope to be in 
my dear little home again with my darling husband and child . . . The 
Dr. says that he can almost assure me of recovery but it is vital that I 
get away at once . . . All is hopeful, dear, but the shock has been great 
to us all . . . With more love than ever and a prayer that thou may see 
only hope. Come to me very quickly." 

-»■■«»•« » • < » • *» ■» «» ■ ^»- 


/4 77m£ 0/ Digging Deep 

Aweek later Sallie was at Saranac Lake, installed in Conklin Cottage, 
where, under a doctor's supervision, she could have the air and the 
regime of life then considered so beneficial. Rufus boarded with a 
Friends' family in Haverford — "all rather interesting people," he wrote 
Sallie, "when they don't have the current turned off for religious 
purposes" — and spent as many weekends as possible in Saranac. 

Everything was done for her that the medical skill of the time 
could provide, including an experimental serum to which she was 
evidently allergic and which only increased her bodily misery. Their 
almost daily letters to each other during the year and a half of her ill- 
ness make poignant reading. The fluctuations of determination and 
despondency, the tacit recognition of the steady encroachments of 
the disease, the inevitable regrets over the overwork and fatigue of the 
previous years, the problem of what was best for Lowell, the effort 
to be bright and cheerful in recounting the small daily happenings, the 
anguish of love and pity on the one hand and the cry of the young 
heart for life on the other, are recurrent themes in somber counter- 
point. The weeks during the summer of 1898 which the little family 
spent together on an Adirondack farm were a brief sunlit time on 
which Rufus looked back with gratitude. He never admitted that he 
had lost hope. "It is encouraging to hear of any improvement though 
it may be slight," he was to write only two months before her death, 
"and I always feel so happy when I strike thy vein of humor which 
is so rich." 



For a time Lowell was with Sallie at Saranac, but before long he was 
taken to his grandparents at Ardonia and she was writing sadly, "Not 
a somersault has been turned on my bed today." Later Rufus had 
Lowell with him in Haverford and struggled to fit baby-sitting into 
the crowded program of a college professor and the editor of a re- 
ligious paper. "I have had a time of it writing editorials and entertain- 
ing Lowell at the same time," he wrote ruefully. "It is not easy to have 
two consecutive thoughts when he is awake and active." 

To the weight of sorrow and anxiety and the stress of trying to be 
in two places at once was added the pressure of mounting expenses 
on a small income. The eleven biographical sketches of American 
writers from Marion Crawford to Hamilton Wright Mabie which he 
wrote for a book published by Winston are a comment on his need 
to supplement his meager salary. In the autumn of 1898 Sallie moved to 
her father's home in Ardonia, in an attempt to lighten the burden. 

On January 13, 1899, Rufus wrote his last tender letter to her. "My 
darling, thy two lovers send much love to thee." The next day her 
valiant struggle came to an end. 

For all the warm outpouring of sympathy and understanding which 
he received from devoted and numerous friends, Rufus Jones was now 
very much alone. He had "nobody at home to brace up" his heart when 
things went hard. His father and Aunt Peace were still living in the old 
house in South China, but Edwin Jones had never been very close 
to his son and Aunt Peace was now nearly ninety and both physically 
and mentally fragile. Walter, the elder brother, had died four years 
earlier; Alice was married and living in Brunswick; Herbert, the 
much loved younger brother, was an optician in Waterville, Maine, 
and busy with his own family. Sallie's father and stepmother, her half- 
brother and two half-sisters, were still at the house in Ardonia; they 
were able from time to time to relieve him of the care of Lowell, but 
they were neither geographically nor temperamentally available for 
support in his loneliness. 

Lowell was just seven when his mother died. Rufus's loneliness and 
the fact that he had no one near at hand to help him with the little boy, 
intensified the "mystic union" which already existed between him and 
the child. Intelligent, eager, lively, sensitive beyond the average, 
passionately fond of flowers, endowed with big, wide-set gray eyes 
and a pointed chin, he was a child to arouse the inevitable adoration 
of a tender and heart-hungry father. Though, according to a playmate 
of those early years, he knew the Bible from back to front, he was, 


fortunately, a normally naughty little boy, a fact which his father 
forgot in later years but the neighbors remembered. The violet which 
Lowell found on the first of March became an almost sacred symbol 
in the Jones family; the handsful of sand tossed into the ladies' tea-cups 
at a decorous porch party survived only as scuttlebutt. To Rufus 
Jones, then and to the very end of his life, when he included a chapter 
on Lowell in a book about the great spiritual torchbearers of the ages 
(The Luminous Trail) this little son was evidence of the love of God 
made manifest in human life. 

To the tribal Society of Friends of Philadelphia Rufus Jones for 
all his prominence and his five years' sojourn in their midst, was still 
an outsider. His roots were in New England, the Maine twang was in 
his voice. He criticized Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for arid tradition- 
alism, and he dared to say that a meeting could have a paid pastor and 
still remain Quaker. Many loved him for the warmth and clarity of his 
personality, and the vitality of his message, but still the conservative 
portals were guarded against him. His letters to Sallie betrayed his 
awareness of his position. "George Vaux and his whole family includ- 
ing the Bartletts are coming to supper tonight. I must be a very good 
boy and say nothing unfortunate." And again, referring to a Friend 
whom they both knew, "I never saw such family satisfaction. It is 
limitless. I have grown rather sulky under it and I meet her talk with 
a cold vacant stare. Common sense is worth all the pedigree in the 
world." Looking back in his old age on that period, he wrote, "I was 
never invited into the Arch Street Meeting House Ministers' Gallery 
during the entire period of my Editorship [of The American Friend] 
. . . and I do not remember ever having spoken in Arch St. Yearly 
Meeting during that time." Then he adds with satisfaction, "All the 
time at Haverford College I was happily teaching the sons of the pillar 
Friends of Arch Street Yearly Meeting." 

He was teaching three courses now, Psychology, History of Philoso- 
phy, and the History of Christian Thought. Besides teaching the sons 
of the pillar Friends, he began at this time to take some responsibility 
for the education of their daughters also. In February of 1898 he was 
elected to the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College, to fill the 
vacancy left by the death of Dr. James Carey Thomas, and within 
a year was put on the Executive Committee. 

At the same time another Quaker college, Earlham in Richmond, 
Indiana, approached him with a view to offering him its presidency, 
but he declined. First and last over the years all the Quaker colleges 


in turn cherished the dream of having Rufus Jones for president, but 
college administration never tempted him. 

If the Arch Street pillars remained reserved, Rufus Jones still had 
wise and powerful older Friends who gave him support and guidance 
during this period. 

T. Wistar Brown, then past seventy, lived at Villanova, four or 
five miles from Haverford, devoting his time and thought and much of 
his money to a quiet, deep and generous interest in Haverford College 
and the Pennsylvania Hospital. On the board of the College for nearly 
fifty years, he had been for nine years president of the board. His 
grandfather had come from New England, his father had married 
a Philadelphia Wistar, and he himself had been brought up according 
to the strictest old-fashioned Quaker principles. Thrust at sixteen into 
the family dry-goods business, he had accumulated what was said to 
be one of the largest Quaker fortunes in the United States. While 
rebelling against the narrowness and illiberalism of his upbringing and 
therefore arousing some alarm among the old guard, he remained a 
member of the Twelfth Street Meeting and his religious life was deep 
and spiritual. When Rufus Jones returned to Haverford in 1893 T. 
Wistar Brown was immediately drawn to him, recognizing his bril- 
liance, his originality and his fire; he defended him against criticism, 
gave him friendship and advice, and bided his time for decisive 
action. Once or twice a week during these years Rufus Jones went 
to the Browns' house for supper. 

Another influential friend, also many years older than himself, was 
James Wood, with whom he worked closely on the Bryn Mawr 
Board, The American Friend, and, increasingly, on a plan for the 
uniting of the Yearly Meetings. "Braewold," the Wood estate at Mt. 
Kisco, N. Y., was a large, comfortable, hospitable place where James 
and Emily Wood, their son Hollingsworth and their daughters Ellen 
and Carolena, welcomed a large circle of Friends, American and 

The editorship of The America?! Friend, like the teaching at Haver- 
ford, continued to be a full-time job on a part-time salary. Though the 
steadily increasing number of subscribers testified to the success of 
the paper and though it was read and quoted in England, Rufus Jones's 
mail was full of critical and somewhat hostile letters. He was accused 
of having "gone over to the Higher Criticism," of being unspiritual, 
of not appreciating Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and of theological 
unsoundness. "It seems as though everybody wanted my scalp," he 


remarked. "I think they will soon get most of my hair." He was 
wondering whether it was actually worth all it cost him when in 
October, 1897, soon after Sallie had gone to Saranac, he went to the 
Quinquennial Conference in Indianapolis. 

It was the second of such meetings held since the Richmond Con- 
ference of 1887, and to it all the Orthodox Yearly Meetings in the 
United States, Canada and Great Britain sent delegates — all but Phila- 
delphia, though a Philadelphia Friend, Edward Wistar, was present in 
an unofficial capacity. Rufus Jones attended as a delegate of New 
England Yearly Meeting, to which he still belonged. 

He was aware that the Conference would be a crucial time for him, 
and that on its outcome would depend in large measure the future 
direction of his life. He was troubled not only about The American 
Friend but about the state of American Quakerism in general. At 
Dieulefit, ten years earlier, he had dedicated his life to the work of 
interpreting the deeper nature of the soul and its relationship to God, 
and in Switzerland four months before the Conference he and John 
Wilhelm Rowntree had shared their vision of a Society of Friends, 
united and alive, which offered in Rowntree's words "that which is 
beyond all creeds, the evidence in our lives of communion with the 
Spirit of God." The problem before him now was the channel through 
which he should carry out his purpose. "I have expected all summer 
that this conference would determine very largely whether I cared to 
go ahead with the paper or whether I should throw the whole thing 
up," he had written to Sallie. "It is strange how we have drifted into 
a type of Quakerism totally different from that which our fathers 
knew and I regret to realize that it is very unlike what I long to see 

He went to the meeting in Indianapolis prepared to make a bold 
movement toward the reawakening of the kind of Quakerism to which 
he could give his life and loyaltv. He was to propose an organic union 
of all the Yearly Meetings of America, through a meeting every five 
years of delegates with legislative powers. 

The idea did not originate with him, nor was he without the support 
and advice of other Friends in presenting it now. At the conference 
of 1892 a Kansas Friend, Dr. William Nicholson, had suggested as a 
remote possibilitv the formation of a single yearlv meeting in America. 
This thought had been regarded as visionary at the time, but in 1897 
four yearly meetings came to the conference prepared to ask for the 
establishment of a conference with delegated powers and binding 


authority. It was Rufus Jones's part to present the plan as an immediate, 
practical, and desirable move. 

"Shall There Be a Central Body? " was the title of the paper which he 
read to the assembled delegates. He based his argument upon two 
primary considerations, the danger of disintegration of a Quakerism 
composed of "fourteen absolutely independent and ever fluctuating 
bodies," and upon the more cogent fact that the causes which Friends 
had at heart — foreign missions, work for Indians, and for temperance 
— could not be carried on effectually without an organizing and 
directing center. 

His purpose in proposing this union went far beyond the coordinat- 
ing of good works and the halting of disintegration; he sought a 
genuine drawing together of the different kinds of Friends in a spirit 
of love and a unity based upon the essentials of the Quaker faith, but 
he understood very well, with the genius that was his for the practical 
and the immediate, that the unifying power of shared work for the 
benefit of others was far greater than theoretical statements. "If one 
does expect to change states of mind, habits of thought and attitudes 
of will," he wrote in 1934 in his account of the conference, "he will 
hardly begin by announcing that that is what he is doing! He will set 
about attaining some goal which will arouse group loyalty and create 
teamwork for the common end in view and in the process new mental 
states get formed." 

He had felt, as he moved about among the delegates the day before 
he was to present his plan, that there was opposition to it. "I do not, 
however," he wrote to Sallie, "have any desire to see the thing go 
through unless it is best." Whatever opposition there was, however, 
was swept away on the tide of enthusiasm aroused by his paper — and 
no doubt by his own personality — when he put it before them. "My 
Address 'took' the conference beyond my expectation," he wrote two 
days later in relief and joy. "People rose to grasp my hand as I came 
down from the platform and James Wood said he never saw an 
audience more impressed by an address which was read." 

The next morning reaction came with a discussion of the proposal 
and the airing of unfavorable opinions, but in the afternoon Rufus 
Jones spoke again, supported by Edmund Stanley, clerk of Kansas 
Yearly Meeting, and the pendulum swung back. "A quiet and ap- 
parently unanimous feeling marked the conclusion to appoint a com- 
mittee," wrote Harriet Green, one of the English delegates. 

"To appoint a committee" — the decisive Quaker action! Two 


members of each yearly meeting were named to the body which was to 
draft the plan of union and a statement of theological basis, with a 
subcommittee consisting of Rufus M. Jones and James Wood to do 
the actual work. 

The American Friend also came in for discussion and the approval 
of the conference. "The afternoon session was the greatest triumph 
The American Friend ever had," wrote Rufus jubilantly — though in 
sober fact the previous triumphs of that three-year-old publication 
could have been but few and modest. "This has been a great experience 
for me," he summed it all up. "I think it has increased my faith in 
the future. It is a great conference and even surpassed London Y.M. 
in interest." 

The writing of the document called the Uniform Discipline, setting 
forth the arrangements for union, harmonizing the diverse procedures 
of the different yearly meetings, and, most thorny of all, composing 
a simple statement of belief upon which all could agree, occupied much 
of Rufus Jones's time and thought during the ensuing two and a half 
years. He and James Wood corresponded about it, they worked over 
it together on Rufus Jones's successive visits to Braewold, they sub- 
mitted drafts to members of the larger committee for "examination, 
criticism and suggestion." A complete draft was published as a supple- 
ment to The American Friend in December, 1899, and revised in 
accordance with the comments of the readers. At a final conference 
at Braewold in May, 1900, it was finished and a printed version made 
ready to present to the yearly meetings for ratification. 

The plan included three notable departures from historic Quaker- 
ism: birthright membership was discontinued, the employment of 
pastors was provided for, though not enjoined, and decisions of the 
delegates were taken on the basis of a vote and not by "the sense of 
the meeting." The greatest struggle came over the theological basis. 

Rufus Jones wrote a simple and brief historical statement of the 
belief of Friends. He was wholly convicted of the validity of the 
Quaker position about creeds, which holds that "while truth is eternal 
our apprehension of it enlarges and our expression of it changes and 
Friends do not feel prepared to pin their adhesion to a form of words 
which at best embody a sincere attempt to define that measure of truth 
which has so far been apprehended in words appropriate to the age 
in which they are spoken." Many of the more strictly evangelical 
yearly meetings, however, wanted a more definite, more binding 
statement. They wished to include both George Fox's Letter to the 


Governor of Barbados, 1671, and the Declaration of Faith adopted 
by the Richmond Conference of 1887. To both of these statements 
Rufus Jones was strongly opposed. "It has been a solemn resolve with 
me to have nothing to do with a discipline that put in the Richmond 
Declaration," he declared. He considered it a "poor thin mediocre 
expression of vital Quaker faith," which showed no awareness of 
modern problems, no recognition of intellectual difficulties over 
questions of science and history, and preserved the air of infallibility 
characteristic of creeds. He was afraid, moreover, that intolerant 
elements in some of the meetings might seek to use it as a yardstick 
against which members might be measured for heresy. Fox's Letter 
he considered uncharacteristic of Fox's real thought, narrowly ortho- 
dox, flat and dull, without any specific Quaker insights. As late as 
1924 he brought down a hornet's nest about his ears by suggesting 
in the London Friend that Fox was ill and confused at the time that 
he wrote it. 

In the end a compromise was reached; the statement of belief 
as written by Rufus Jones stood, and those who would like "more 
explicit and extended statements of belief" were referred in a foot- 
note to the two disputed documents. 

The first yearly meeting to act upon the plan of union was New 
England Yearly Meeting, in session at Newport in June 1900. When 
that body adopted the Uniform Discipline, Rufus Jones, foreseeing 
that others would follow, wrote to James Wood, "American Quaker- 
ism now must stand or fall together. The next few years will settle 
which it is to be." 

Immediately after the meeting at Newport Rufus Jones returned 
to Haverford for the second great venture of this period, the Summer 
School of Religious History, which was held on the college campus 
from June nineteenth to the thirtieth. One of the means to revitalize 
Quakerism, and especially to nurture the lay ministry, which he and 
John Wilhelm Rowntree had agreed upon in Switzerland was a series 
of summer schools on religious and social questions. The first one had 
been held successfully in England in 1897. Now Rufus Jones, with the 
help of a committee that included Isaac Sharpless, chairman, George 
Barton, David Scull, James Wood and T. Wistar Brown, had arranged 
this first one in America. Three of his English friends came to uphold 
him and to lecture on the Bible and Church and Quaker History: 
Rendel Harris, William C. Braithwaite, and John Wilhelm Rowntree. 

J. W. Rowntree had come to see his doctor in Chicago, who was 


attempting to arrest the progress of his fatal disease, and to gather 
material for the history of Quakerism, to which he was now applying 
himself, as the second of his means for promoting Quakerism. Another 
project, the quarterly magazine called Present Day Papers, had been 
launched the year before. "I want a tremendous big talk with thee!" 
he wrote to Rufus on May nineteenth. 

The summer school was attended by six hundred registered students, 
with two hundred more visitors, most of whom were Friends, though 
thirteen denominations in all were represented. 

In addition to the three Englishmen, there was an impressive list 
of lecturers, including, besides Rufus Jones himself, who gave a series 
of five lectures, a young Quaker prophet from the mid-west, Elbert 
Russell, professor of Biblical Literature at Earlham College, George A. 
Barton, Isaac Sharpless, Allen Thomas and others. The response of the 
students was enthusiastic, and the impact of the whole experience 
was so lasting that Howard Brinton has pronounced it to be for 
American Friends a "turning-point" comparable to the Manchester 
Conference of 1895 for English Friends. Succeeding summer schools 
were held in America approximately every two years thereafter until 

This summer of 1900 also initiated a brief but poignant episode 
in Rufus Jones's personal life. Early in the ten days he became engaged 
to James Wood's daughter Ellen. 

He had been thrown with her much during the past two years 
when he had gone often to Braewold to work on the Discipline with 
her father, and they had been corresponding regularly for nearly 
a year, but that they had not reached the decision to marry until they 
were together at the summer school is made plain by the contrast 
between previous letters and a scribbled, pencilled, undated note 
in Ellen's handwriting: "Please do not sit beside me nor talk to me 
except casually before 5: 30 this evening. Talk to Lena or anybody else, 
but unless everybody is to know we must not be together." 

She was thirty-one years old, fair, slender, pleasant-looking, though 
her face was too long and narrow for conventional prettiness. Delicate 
coloring and vivid change of expression might have given her beauty 
at times. Despite the ease of her family circumstances she had a fervent 
desire to do something to help the world. She had not only prepared 
herself by training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital to become a nurse, 
but had actually put her training to use in nursing soldiers at Camp 
Hamilton at the time of the Spanish-American War. Her letters re- 


veal a warm-hearted, impulsive, sensitive, idealistic personality, very 
much in love. Rufus Jones himself described her in The Trail of Life 
in the Middle Years in the following words: "She was a rare and 
wonderful person, sensitive in her spirit, broad in her sympathies, 
extremely tender of heart, a dedicated soul, with a rich life before 

In July she went abroad with her father and her sister, Carolena, 
intending to visit Denmark, Sweden, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, and 
to stop in England on the way home. On her return the engagement 
was to be announced and they would be married the following spring, 
when Rufus Jones should have completed the long postponed year of 
graduate study which he had decided at last to take at Harvard. 

On the voyage out Ellen Wood was taken ill with a high fever. It 
was thought at first that it was the result of overtaxing herself in the 
care of a seaman on the ship who was stricken with pneumonia and to 
whom, in the absence of medical help, she was both doctor and nurse, 
but at the hospital in Copenhagen to which she was taken her illness 
was diagnosed as typhoid fever. On the ninth of August she died. 

When the sorrowing father and sister returned, Rufus Jones went 
to Mt. Kisco to be with them for the memorial service. His own grief 
was not declared to the world, but his summer school lectures, pub- 
lished that winter in England by Headley Bros, under the title "A 
Dynamic Faith," bore the dedication: 

"To the sweet and shining memory of a friend, now in the heaven- 
lies, whose inspiration touched these pages." 

This was the second book in which he spoke not only to Friends 
but to the world beyond. The first, Practical Christianity, which 
had appeared in the summer of 1899, was made up largely of editorials 
from The American Friend, setting forth the principle that truth is 
ever-changing and developing, modifying its form but keeping its 
essence. It had been generally well received and the London Friend 
patted it on the head as "a bracing and helpful book." 

A Dynamic Faith was a bolder and more sustained work. In it one 
sees Rufus Jones coming to his full stature as a religious thinker, setting 
forth in the direct, natural, vigorous, luminous style that was so 
characteristically his, some of the enduring ideas on which his life 
and thought were founded. Beginning with the basis of religious faith, 
considered in the light of modern scientific discoveries, he traced the 
life history of Quakerism from its sources in the Bible and the writings 


of the mystics through the message of its first creative years, to its 
modern position. 

"The essential fact of religion is love," he wrote, "and love is im- 
possible apart from relationships." 

Of Christ he said: "We find at length one single Personality, who 
was sinless, who lived entirely open to God, who had a sole purpose 
— to do His will, and from it this truth emerges that this Personality is 
a complete expression of Divinity and Humanity." 

Of mysticism: "Religious mysticism is an attempt to realize the 
presence of God in the soul. It is grounded in the fact that a direct 
intercourse between the human soul and God is possible; and its 
ultimate goal is the attainment of a state in which God shall cease to be 
an external object and shall become known by experience of the 

But mysticism to Rufus Jones was never passivism: "The great 
mystics who must be our types have learned that every new truth, 
every new vision, involves a new duty and leads to activity." 

Of George Fox's message: "His [Fox's] next step is the discovery 
that Christ is no dead Christ but a living one still present and able to 
'speak to one's condition' . . . We have the glorious fact announced, 
'Behold He is here now and I have found Him' and this is the key 
to the whole Quaker message." 

Of salvation: "Salvation is an actual change in the man's life." 

Of religion today: "Revelation is a continuous process." 

He was to probe further, to amplify and restate again and again all 
these ideas as the years went on, but never to abandon them. Forty-one 
years later he wrote in an introduction to a French translation of A 
Dynamic Faith: "In spite of the passage of the years the book in the 
main represents my present religious outlook ... It was my first serious 
attempt to interpret mysticism and to get at the heart of Quakerism." 


The Golden Age at Harvard 

■» '» '» » .^ <w* '^ ^» ««p» *^"> 

■ ^» « ^» «i S» ^ «a 

Xvufus Jones went to Harvard in what has been called the Golden 
Age of American Philosophy, when George Herbert Palmer, chair- 
man of the Department, William James, Josiah Royce, Hugo Miinster- 
berg, and George Santayana wrote and taught and sharpened their 
minds on one another in an atmosphere of intellectual disagreement 
and personal loyalty immensely invigorating both to themselves and to 
their students. "In our lectures," wrote Palmer, "we were accustomed 
to attack each other by name, James forever exposing the folly of the 
idealists, particularly of Royce and me, Royce in turn showing how 
baseless all empiricism is, lacking a metaphysical background." And 
James, writing to Royce, declared, "When I compose my Gifford 
lectures mentally, 'tis with the design exclusively of overthrowing 
your system and ruining your peace . . . Different as our minds are," 
he added, "yours has nourished mine as no other social influence 
ever has, and in converse with you I have always felt that my life was 
being lived importantly." Even Santayana, who felt that both Royce 
and James were hampered in their task of describing things as they 
are by the responsibility which they felt to find them "propitious to 
certain preconceived ideas," described that period at Harvard as "a 
fresh morning in the life of reason, cloudy but brightening." 

It must have been a serious disappointment to Rufus Jones when he 
learned that William James, that "fascinating and captivating" man 
was not to be there in 1900-01. He had studied and taught James's 



Principles of Psychology, had had some personal contact and cor- 
respondence with him, and was to consider himself all his life a debtor 
to James's thought. This year, however, William James was in Europe, 
convalescing from an illness and working on his Gifford Lectures, 
which were to be delivered in Edinburgh in the spring of 1901 and 
1902 under the title, "Varieties of Religious Experience." 

Rufus Jones took four courses at Harvard: Ethics, with George 
Herbert Palmer; The Ethics of Idealism, also with Palmer; Problems 
of Comparative and Social Psychology, with Hugo Miinsterberg, 
and New Testament Interpretation with Joseph Henry Thayer. He 
got A in all of them. 

Santayana in his brilliant if not wholly sympathetic essays on philoso- 
phy at Harvard did not so much as mention Palmer, but he was to 
Rufus Jones a major influence. "A year's work in that Phil. 4 course 
came nearer being a 'complete education' than any other course of 
study I have ever known," he wrote thirty years later. Kant, Fichte, 
Hegel, Green's Prolegomena to Ethics were the subject of that 
year, illumined by Palmer's interpretation and his understanding of 
"the deep-lying springs of moral action." Rufus Jones had earlier come 
under the spell of Edward Caird, Master of Balliol. Palmer too was 
a devotee of Caird's, having spent six consecutive summers in England 
sharing a house with him, walking daily with Professor Caird and 
Ding-an-Sich, the dog, and discussing philosophy for hours at a 
time. It was from Palmer that Rufus Jones borrowed the term, the 
conjunct self, which appeared frequently in his books and lectures 
after this year, especially in Social Law in the Spiritual Word. To 
Palmer it was the conjunct self in terms of which the nature of 
morality might be explained. "Wherever we trace iniquity," he wrote, 
"it will always be seen to amount to this, the setting-up of the abstract 
or unitary self against the conjunct." To Rufus Jones, however, it had 
a mystical connotation, the conjunct life, in which the human and the 
divine were conjoined. "Its [i.e. science's] latest word is that God and 
man are conjunct." Palmer, however, was no mystic, and indeed, fre- 
quently warned his students against mysticism, as a will o' the wisp 
and wandering fire. 

Even more than by Palmer, Rufus Jones was influenced by Josiah 
Royce. Though he did not take any of Royce's courses for credit that 
year, he seems to have audited the course in Metaphysics. He bracketed 
Royce with Palmer as one of his teachers at Harvard, and he wrote: 
"Professor Josiah Royce had a larger influence on my intellectual de- 


velopment, I think, than any other one person . . . He took a group 
of us through his Aberdeen Gifford lectures, the World and the Indi- 
vidual, and in that process we came to grips with his profound treat- 
ment of mysticism as one of the major pathways to reality." 

There is general agreement that Royce eminently looked the part 
of the philosopher. "He was one of the oddest-looking men since 
Socrates," wrote Rufus Jones, "whom as has been often noted, he 
somewhat resembled." "His great head," according to Santayana, 
"seemed too heavy for his small body, and his portentous brow, 
crowned with thick red hair, seemed to crush the lower part of his 
face." He had come out of California, studied at Leipzig and Gottin- 
gen, had gone to Johns Hopkins as one of its first fellows, where he 
worked with William James, and through James he had come to 
Harvard. "His effect as a teacher and writer was profound," wrote 
William Ernest Hocking. "No previous American thinker had so 
united moral energy with wide historical learning, command of 
scientific method and intense interest in logical technique." He was a 
brilliant and effortless lecturer, of whom Dickinson Miller said, 
"Royce finds lecturing the easiest form of breathing." He taught a 
monistic idealism and he laid especial stress upon the "beloved com- 
munity" in which all lives were part of the divine life. His treatment 
of Meister Eckhart in Studies of Good mid Evil impressed Rufus 
Jones deeply and he considered Royce's study of the psychology of 
George Fox the best ever written. But though stimulated and in- 
fluenced by Royce, Rufus Jones did not become his disciple, as he 
never was a disciple of William James. He believed that monistic 
idealism came perilously close to pantheism, and he sought to find 
"the line between a defeative dualism of a two-world theory and an 
equally dangerous pantheism, which blurs all moral distinctions and 
which names the All 'God.' " 

Of Miinsterberg, by whom some of his theories on the vision of 
children "got pretty badly slaughtered," Rufus Jones wrote, "Dr. 
Miinsterberg can cut one's head off before he knows it." 

One other course Rufus Jones must have audited at least in part: 
Santayana's Greek Philosophy with especial reference to Plato. His 
copy of the Harvard catalogue shows a check mark beside Santayana's 
Phil. 12 and on the blank page at the end is written in Rufus's hand- 
writing a list of "Subjects for Reports in Greek Philos." and another 
list of "Readings." He made, he said, his first systematic study of 
Plato and Platonism under Santayana. "There may be better lecturers 


than he was then and there may be wiser guides for the journey 
through that spiritual realm, Plato's demesne, but I have never seen any 
person whom I should prefer to have as a pilot for that difficult cross- 
ing. There was a fine mystical quality in the Santayana of that period 
which made him an admirable interpreter of Platonic love and beauty 
and which splendidly fitted him to appreciate the important contribu- 
tion of Plotinus. Plato, Plotinus, Dante and Goethe have been through- 
out my life four personalities of outstanding importance." This 
appreciation of Santayana is the more interesting in view of the wide 
differences of background and outlook that separated the two men, 
who were born in the same year. To Rufus Jones moral fervor was 
beautiful; to Santayana it was more than faintly ridiculous. The Quaker 
from South China and Haverford looked on Harvard and its sages 
with love and reverence; the Spanish-born, non-practising Catholic 
Santayana found it a place that smelled slightly of brimstone, with 
an atmosphere not so much of intelligence or science as of duty, a 
place to endure until his inheritance should set him free to return to 

Of Joseph Henry Thayer Rufus Jones had little to say, though he 
spoke of him warmly as "that remarkable New Testament scholar," 
and it was under him that he wrote his thesis on the mysticism of St. 
Paul and St. John, which he later used as the basis for lectures, essays 
and an important chapter in his book, Social Law in the Spiritual 

With Dr. Francis G. Peabody, college preacher and professor of 
Christian Sociology, Rufus Jones took no work, but a lasting friend- 
ship between the two was begun. "He is about as near perfect as any 
man I have ever seen," wrote Rufus, "and a remarkable speaker." 

During this momentous year Rufus Jones lived at the house of a 
Friend in Cambridge. Lowell had been installed at Friends School, 
Providence, possibly at nine the youngest boarder there. The little boy 
was happy in the school which had meant so much to his father; he 
spent occasional weekends in Cambridge, and Rufus went every other 
week to Providence to be with him and to lead a "Philosophical Club" 
for the teachers at Friends School, the meetings of which everybody 
attended, "from Augustine Jones to the laundress." 

The work of taking four graduate courses and auditing two more, 
the trips to Providence, and the writing of two or three editorials a 
week for The American Friend, by no means occupied all of Rufus's 
time. He was in constant demand for talks by local groups, chiefly 


Friends, who are beyond all other denominations — perhaps as a reac- 
tion from their avowed love of silence — addicted to the spoken word in 
the form of lectures, addresses, talks and discussions. In a single week, 
for example, he made talks on "The Subconscious Mind," "Greek 
Philosophy," and "The Mystics." 

In February the decision about his future course was made. T. 
Wistar Brown, who had been quietly waiting to do something 
effective both for Haverford and for Rufus Jones, created a chair in 
Philosophy especially for him. It consisted of an associate professor- 
ship with a salary of $2000, which, though it seems little enough 
today, was a sizable advance over the $800 he had previously received, 
and furthermore, as Isaac Sharpless assured him, was "quite on a par 
with the other members of the Faculty of equal, and in some cases 
more, experience and title." He was to teach a Freshman course in the 
Old Testament, History of Philosophy, Psychology, which was re- 
quired of all Juniors, and Senior Ethics. 

At the end of the year he received the degree of Master of Arts 
from Harvard. He already had an M.A. from Haverford and an 
honorary Litt. D. from Penn College, Oskaloosa, Iowa. During the 
years to come the honorary degrees would flood in upon him, includ- 
ing a Doctorate of Divinity from Harvard itself, but the Ph.D., which 
is the meal ticket of today's most pedestrian college instructor, was 
never his. 

From Cambridge in June he went to Longport, N. J., where he 
worked on a series of lectures to be given at Scarborough Summer 
School in England in August. Lowell was in Ardonia where he had 
expected to leave him for the summer, but at the last minute, con- 
cerned about the child's health, he scooped him up and carried him 
off to England with him. 

They stayed at Scalby, where John Wilhelm Rowntree and his 
lovely wife Connie and their children took Lowell to their hearts. 
Rufus went every day to nearby Scarborough, to lecture at the sum- 
mer school, and in the evenings the two friends talked about the 
Quaker History and their plans for it. 

The Summer School, which lasted from August third to September 
seventh, was attended by 280 persons, nearly half of whom were under 
thirty. It was a memorable gathering, and letters afterwards testified 
to the inspiration which Rufus Jones brought to the students through 
his lectures, his Browning readings under the trees near George Fox's 
dungeon at Scarborough Castle, his talks with the young people 


about their spiritual problems and yearnings. Besides the association 
with those tried old friends, J. W. Rowntree, William Charles Braith- 
waite and Rendel Harris, Rufus Jones made new friendships which 
were to be lifelong, notably with Joan M. Fry, Arnold Rowntree, 
John Wilhelm's cousin, and L. Violet Hodgkin, daughter of the 
famous Quaker leader Thomas Hodgkin, herself a writer and Quaker 

When Rufus Jones returned to Haverford in September he came as 
one who has crossed a great divide in his life. The years of apprentice- 
ship and preparation were over; the years of anxiety and sorrow were 
behind him and they had given him their incomparable gift. He had 
returned to a new and dignified position at Haverford. His living 
arrangements were once more comfortable: he was back in his house 
at 7 College Lane and Anna Comfort, a responsible Quaker woman, was 
to run the household and take care of Lowell. He was bringing home 
the sheaves of his intellectual harvest at Harvard and he glowed with 
the knowledge of the affection and respect of English Friends. 

Stanley R. Yarnall, for many years the distinguished and beloved 
headmaster of the Germantown Friends School, remembers seeing 
him at this time. Stanley Yarnall, then a young man, not quite thirty, 
was going with his Aunt Phoebe to a party at Clovercroft, the Gar- 
rett house in Rosemont, and they were met at the station by an omni- 
bus. Rufus Jones, just back from his year away, was also on the bus; 
he was full of his experience at Harvard, aglow with enthusiasm for 
the men with whom he had worked there. Afterwards Aunt Phoebe 
said impressively, "Stanley, that is a perfectly wonderful man!" 



1 like to be with persons who see what life means," wrote Rufus 
Jones in September, 1900, "and who like to talk over its meaning and 
its problems. I always want to make its meaning clearer, though I know 
I do not always succeed." 

He had had a visit to the Cadbury family which was a "blessing" to 
him. They were a large, lively, warmhearted family, actively con- 
cerned with the affairs of Philadelphia Orthodox Quakerism. Joel and 
Anna Kaighn Cadbury, who was descended from John Bartram the 
botanist, their four sons and two daughters, lived at Fifteenth and 
Green Streets, then a quiet and substantial, though not fashionable, 
neighborhood, and had a summer home across the Delaware in the 
pleasant old Quaker village of Moorestown. Joel's father, also Joel 
Cadbury, had come from England to visit his aunt and uncle, had 
fallen in love with their daughter and married her, had survived the 
storm of disapproval at the marriage of first cousins, and lived his life 
out in the United States. Joel himself was a successful business man 
and clerk of his Monthly and Quarterly Meetings. Two of his sons 
had gone into business, one was studying medicine with a view to 
missionary service abroad, and the youngest, Henry, was a student 
at Haverford. 

Elizabeth Bartram was the eldest of the Cadbury children. In 1900 
when Rufus Jones first became aware of her she was twenty-nine. 
She had attended the Friends Select School in Philadelphia, had 
cherished dreams of serving mankind by becoming a trained nurse 



but had settled down instead — quelling the longings of her young heart 
and the restlessness of her bright mind as manifestations of "selfish- 
ness" — to living for her family as a daughter at home. When she was 
twenty-one she had had one glorious year at Bryn Mawr College and 
then she retired in favor of her younger sister Emma and took up a 
life of Quaker committees, Sunday School classes, Y.W.C.A. work, 
reading, sewing, visiting and German-study, in which she attained 
considerable proficiency. In the spring of 1900 she went with a group 
of friends on a cruise of the Mediterranean which included a visit to 
Egypt and the Holy Land and wound up with a sojourn in England 
with the Cadbury cousins, with whom family relations were warm and 
close. Some of her letters home, in which she described with en- 
thusiasm what she saw in Athens, were published in The American 
Friend and elicited the comment from Ellen Wood, "Since reading 
that letter of E. C.'s in The American Friend I have thought that thee 
does not realize how much more she is thy intellectual equal than I 

Lily, as she was called by her intimates, was a lovely, glowing young 
woman, dark-haired, fair-skinned, hazel-eyed, with a turned-up nose 
and long upper lip, and an expression of great sweetness and humor. 
With a keen and sensitive intelligence she combined a genuine humility 
and a deep and sometimes hampering reserve. With all her sunny 
serenity of disposition she found it difficult to open up her deepest 
thoughts and share her inner feelings. To Rufus Jones, for whom out- 
ward expression was easy and natural, this inhibition was both fasci- 
nating and troubling. With what he assumed to be his usual interest 
in helping half-formed souls to fulfil themselves, he sought to help her 
develop to the full the potentialities which were so evident. During the 
year that he was at Harvard the letters flew back and forth, with 
Rufus playing the part of Mentor and Elizabeth the receptive disciple. 

In his third letter he was urging her to read Browning's Paracelsus, 
and to give him an opinion on it, an assignment which she sidestepped, 
feeling it was too large a subject for her to have an opinion about, 
though she wrote a competent summary of what she understood to be 
its meaning. As the winter wore on she read and reported on Caird's 
Fundamental Ideas and Green's Prolegomena to Ethics, both of 
which she declared she "greatly enjoyed" and which she followed up 
with Dante's Inferno, Royce's Religious Aspects of Philosophy and 
Emerson's "Oversoul." The last she just mentioned in passing and Rufus 
was quick to write back: 

"Now why didn't thee tell me more about the 'Oversoul'? I was 


interested in thy coup d'etat in the kitchen [i.e. the dismissing of an 
unsatisfactory cook] but I also wanted to know what thee saw in 
Emerson's great essay. It has had so much to do with my life and I 
wish thee had given me thy glimpse." 

"I know it was unkind not to say anything more about Emerson," 
she wrote penitently by return mail, "but I really had to read it over 
again to be sure that the first impression was not only a mood of 
mine. For it seemed to strike down deeper than most anything I have 
found lately. Even now I hardly know why, because many of the 
thoughts were not new — only they came freshly — or else reached 
down into that inner self that so often has to go unfed." 

She read and then reread his own book, A Dynamic Faith, 
especially the chapter on the Mystics. "I had forgotten how wholesome 
and normal thee made it," she commented. "My impressions about 
mystics until last summer [i.e., at the Haverford Summer School] 
were always of the ultra type, which did not very much appeal to 
my rather matter-of-fact and unemotional way of looking at things, 
but if Paul is a mystic — well, I suppose one can try." 

In return for the guidance he offered her, she gave him comfort 
when he was "blue," and he did not underestimate the value of the 
gift. "Too many of us think the great gifts are those of teaching, of 
exhorting, of working miracles, of speaking with tongues," he wrote. 
"Not at all! There is a more excellent way. It is just the power of 
making our lives felt in others' lives, of giving out ourselves, of suffer- 
ing long and being kind." And when she demurred, he insisted, "Yes, 
Elizabeth, but thee must see!" 

Several weeks later he was still elaborating the subject. "You get 
tired of bright people and of society people and rich people and talka- 
tive people and artistic people and so on and so on but you can tie 
forever to a person with a soul, the one who is rich in spirit. There 
are no gettings to get but that." 

He went to say good-by to her before he left for England and the 
Scarborough Summer School and the first thing he did on his return 
in September was to go to see her. On the sixth of October they be- 
came engaged. 

Though they lived but a few miles apart the letters continued almost 
daily between Mein Liebchen and Dearest Rufus, as they explored 
their relationship and made their plans for the future. 

"I believe in thee as I do in the laws of the universe," wrote 

Two days later he was tired and ruffled. He had had to give up his 


golf, which had become a great outlet and release for him, to attend 
a committee meeting. "Please forgive this useless bit of autobiographic 
detail which can hardly contribute to thy happiness. Isn't it funny 
that we should care to tell our woes when there are always so many 
beautiful things waiting to be told. I wish I might rise to the place 
where I could live above disturbances of every sort and could say to 
every situation, 'Thank God for you. I know how to use you.' " 

He was still concerned about her growth. "I cannot tell thee how 
much I want thee to be what I see in thee. I carry thee on my heart 
until the true Elizabeth is formed in thee." 

"I wonder if thee thought I was very frivolous yesterday," she 
wrote a little anxiously," but I cannot be serious too long at a time." 

"Thee need never be afraid of being frivolous," he was quick to re- 
assure her. "I love fun and frolic and spontaneous joyousness as well 
as any man living. I cannot bear morbidness or primness or stilted piety 
or goodygoodyism. ... It will always be my lot to impart ideas and to 
bear messages and that takes one's very life. I have no one to come 
to me and cheer me back, to make me see that I hit the mark, to inspire 
me with courage by showing me what I have done, by giving apprecia- 
tion and loving criticism. I need this as few men ever need it for my 
nature is sensitive and I am easily exalted or depressed." 

What did trouble him was not her frivolity but her humility. "I am 
afraid it is a virtue I cannot safely commend in thee," he wrote. "Thee 
rather needs courage and confidence and heart-boldness." Moreover, 
he found her literary opinions deplorably lukewarm. "I can never 
understand how thee can be so calm over a great piece of literature. I 
throb with it and thee says, 'I liked it.' " 

His own humility perhaps prevented him from seeing the gap that 
she felt existed between his spiritual power and her own gropings. 
Yet she understood with clearer insight even than he did his love for 
her and hers for him and she had deep confidence in it. Her letters 
were full of gentle humor, love, and gratitude for her great good 
fortune in having won his love, and underneath she knew her strength. 
When they probed deeper into self-knowledge, she could lay a sure 
and gentle finger on his tendency to depression and anxiety and main- 
tain her own refusal to be overborne by it. 

"As I told thee," she wrote. "I seldom really worry. Perhaps thee 
would say I had never had any great trouble and that is more or less 
true. But if one is disposed one can find many occasions to worry 
over. I cannot explain whv it is. Down in the subconscious self there 


seems to be a source of strength near at hand to help through possible 
difficulties which will prove availing when they arise . . . Had I given 
myself up to meditating of possible future troubles I should have had 
no time to think of present needs. And that night thee was tired and 
discouraged and anxious. Would it have helped more if I had fallen 
into the same mood? It did not seem to me the time to lose courage 
just then." 

"It has done me good clear down where I live to have thy letter 
with its noble quality of womanhood pulsing through it," he answered 
the next day. "I did not misunderstand thee and never thought thee 
lacking in love or abiding interest in all that concerned my real wel- 
fare but in a way I did need just this revelation of thy true self." 

As she grew in assurance she could begin to help him in his work. 
"I have been thinking of the editorial," she wrote. "Could it be a little 
more gentle-hearted without losing fire? The first sentence especially 
haunts me as being a little blunt, though I do believe strictly true." 

He agreed with her about it; indeed he had already softened it. 
"Thee can help me tremendously in my editorials when thee settles 
down to look at them carefully and critically, as thee has hardly been 
able to do in the past." 

"I am sure you will find Elizabeth a fine soul, wise, solid, level- 
headed and most loving," he wrote to John Wilhelm Rowntree. "She 
will be, as she already is, a real daily helper to me." 

In November their engagement was announced to their world and 
evoked universal approval. "What I like about him," Elizabeth's 
brother Ben had said, "is that he is a man and true to the core." M. 
Carey Thomas's commendation was characteristic of her. "I am truly 
glad thee is marrying a college woman," she pronounced, "and a Bryn 
Mawr woman, for I regard Miss Cadbury as both even if she was able 
to stay with us only one year." Agnes Tierney of Germantown wrote 
to Elizabeth, "How full of blessing to the world your united strength 
will be! I count my meeting with Rufus Jones one of the Providences 
of my life. It was a time when I was very greatly in need of spiritual 
refreshment and he filled me, as he has hundreds of others, with re- 
newed faith and courage." 

Through the winter Elizabeth competently supervised the redecora- 
tion of the house on College Lane and Rufus strove to take a suitable 
interest in the details of paint and varnish on which she consulted him. 

They were married on March n, 1902. It was a beautiful warm 
day and the old meetinghouse on Twelfth Street was filled. In the 


balcony Elizabeth's Sunday School class of colored women occupied 
a long bench. It was a great occasion, for not only were the bridal 
couple well known and well loved figures in themselves, but Elizabeth 
Cadbury lived within the ancient citadel of Philadelphia Orthodox 
Quakerism and Rufus Jones was passing through the guarded gate 
at last. 

The wedding was held in the solemn Quaker manner without music 
or any sort of festive decorations in the austere old room. Out of the 
silence the bride and groom rose and spoke their promises without 
prompting. The certificate was signed by Rufus Matthew and Eliza- 
beth Bartram Jones and read aloud by an elder of the Meeting; out of 
the renewed silence Friends were moved to speak, and about 11:45 tne 
meeting closed. The bride wore white satin with a knot of white 
ribbon in her hair instead of a veil; she carried white flowers. Her three 
bridesmaids and four "aides" were also in white, with pink flowers. 
Herbert Jones was his brother's best man and Elizabeth's brothers were 

Two hundred and eighty friends were invited to the wedding break- 
fast in the Cadbury house, where everything was simple, a cousin re- 
ported, but well served. Mr. and Mrs. Jones drove rapidly away in a 
carriage decorated with ribbon and festoons of colored papers and 
took the train to Washington, where they visited Mt. Vernon and 
sent happy postals home. 

Now at thirty-nine, Rufus Jones had found the true companion of 
his heart and home, a woman whose sunny disposition and deep-rooted 
serenity would help to stabilize his mercurial temperament, whose 
flexible and retentive mind would complement his own, whose strength 
and quiet practical competence would keep their home running 
smoothly, whose love was like a spring, still and unrippled on the sur- 
face but inexhaustible. "Everything has changed since Elizabeth came," 
he wrote to John Wilhelm Rowntree in May, "and I am working 
with a new strength." 

Even before they were married they had been faced with a mo- 
mentous decision. One of John Wilhelm Rowntree's dearest dreams 
for the reawakening of Quakerism and especially for the revitalization 
of the ministry was a center for study where Friends could explore 
social and religious questions and prepare themselves for service to the 
Society. This dream was now about to reach fulfilment through the 
generosity of George Cadbury, the head of the Cadbury Chocolate 
Firm and Joel Cadbury's first cousin, who offered to give his house, 


Woodbrooke, near Birmingham, for the purpose, to provide for its 
maintenance and to endow a lectureship. The immediate necessity was 
to find the right director of studies to start the school off and indeed 
to take a large part in determining its enduring shape. 

The first of February Henry Lloyd Wilson, clerk of the Meeting 
for Sufferings, the executive body of London Yearly Meeting, came 
to Haverford with a letter from John Wilhelm Rowntree offering 
the post of principal of Woodbrooke to Rufus Jones. 

The letter referred to "the variety and extent of the hold which 
you have won over our people through your visit to Scarborough last 
year and then your book, A Dynamic Faith," and continued, "You 
would command the confidence of both wings of the Society as no 
one else could do. You have moreover I am convinced the right mes- 
sage for us and could give it fully without the trammels and limitations 
which sometimes harass you in America." Other lures were the im- 
portance of the position, the freedom to travel, opportunity for work- 
ing on the book on mysticism of which they had talked so much 
together, the proximity of Elizabeth's cousins and, altogether, "a wide 
field of liberty and service." The salary was to be ^iooo, equivalent 
then to $5000. 

There was no doubt about the attraction. Rufus Jones then "felt 
in spirit more deeply identified with English Quakerism than with any 
other branch of organized Christianity in the world." And John Wil- 
helm Rowntree was there and behind it all. "I hope you know," Rufus 
had written to him in January, "that your friendship is one of the 
best things I have in my world." 

He talked the question over with his associates. President Sharpless 
discussed objectively the advantages and disadvantages, the oppor- 
tunities offered in both fields and refrained then from offering an 
increase of salary to meet the Woodbrooke proposal. M. Carey 
Thomas urged him to accept the English offer. "This English scheme," 
he wrote to Elizabeth, " 'sort of niters into everything I do. I make 
believe not to think of it but there is a stratum down below which al- 
ways knows about it." Elizabeth, after suggesting that the scheme 
was still "rather a hazy one," declared her readiness to embrace his 
decision. "As for me thee knows I am part of thyself. Wherever the 
work is that is our work, there we can live and be happy together 
and whatever it is I shall want to enter into it and do my share gladly." 
"Of course with me," wrote Rufus Jones to John Wilhelm Rown- 
tree, "it is largely a question of where my life will do the most good. 


There is hardly anything else involved, but that is a very serious 
question. Next year Dr. Barton will be away and it would hardly seem 
right for us both to be away from Haverford Meeting at the same 

When George Cadbury invited Rufus and Elizabeth to spend three 
or four weeks in England that summer considering the proposition 
on the spot, they accepted, with the idea of postponing decision till 
after their return, in spite of John Wilhelm Rowntree's plea in May, 
"Come over into Macedonia and help us!" 

In July they left Lowell at Ardonia with Anna Comfort and sailed 
for England, where they visited the Cadburys at the Manor, North- 
field, near Birmingham, and the Rowntrees at Scalby, and took an 
active part in weekend conferences about the future of Woodbrooke. 
It was not until they had been home for two months, however, that 
the final decision was made. 

By that time the first Five Years Meeting was over. Eleven yearly 
meetings had accepted the new discipline and their delegates met at 
Indianapolis in October in the first united session. Rufus Jones was 
appointed to the important Business Committee, and he made one of 
the key speeches, on "The Theory and Practice of Public Worship." 
The needs of Indians and Negroes were presented to the meeting. It 
was an old concern of Friends but the new concept of the "social 
gospel" then beginning to stir the air made the appeal more moving. 
"The most remarkable thing about the meeting," wrote Rufus Jones 
with satisfaction, "was the unity of spirit which was manifested." 

The organic union of American Friends, or at least a sizable segment 
of them, was now a fact, but it was evident that this meeting marked 
not the end of a process but the beginning. Instead of feeling released 
to go to England, Rufus Jones evidently felt bound to stay and help 
the new organization to find its destiny. At any rate early in Novem- 
ber he declined the English offer. After the decision was made, but 
not before, T. Wistar Brown, in consultation with Isaac Sharpless, ar- 
ranged for Rufus Jones' salary to be increased to $5000 and the 
following year he was raised to full professorial rank. 

"It is idle to pretend that your letter is anything less than a severe 
blow," wrote John Wilhelm Rowntree on the second of December. 
But he began to plan for the opening of Woodbrooke the following 
summer, and Rufus Jones promised to be there to make the inaugural 
address and to deliver a series of lectures at the summer school. Rendel 
Harris, who had been doing relief work among the Armenians, was 


offered the post of Director of Studies in Rufus Jones's place, and he 
declined an offer of a professorship at the University of Leyden in 
order to accept it. 

During the year Rufus Jones had been publishing in nine installments 
in The American Frietid an account of his boyhood which he called A 
Boy's Religion from Memory, and before the end of the year this 
appeared in book form. Some years later, amplified, it was to reappear 
as Finding the Trail of Life. Also fruit of this year was a little book 
called Studies in New Testament Mysticism, which was composed 
of essays written for John Wilhelm Rowntree's magazine, Present Day 
Papers. The following year, 1903, he published a new edition of George 
Fox's Journal under the title Autobiography of George Fox, in which 
the journal of the founder of Quakerism was presented in such a form 
that people would actually read it. "It is of course milk for babes," 
he wrote to his friend in England, "but just now the babes are most 
in evidence." 

In May, 1903, Lowell was exposed to diphtheria. He was given 
antitoxin and his attack was a mild one, soon over. When Rufus and 
Elizabeth Jones sailed for England and the opening of Woodbrooke 
on July eleventh, their minds were at ease about the boy, who was to 
stay at Ardonia as he had done the previous summer, with Anna Com- 
fort in charge. 

The voyage was uneventful until the night before they landed. 
Then Rufus Jones had the second of the invasions from the Beyond 
which for him proved the validity of the mystical experience. "I sud- 
denly felt myself surrounded by an enfolding Presence and held as 
though by invisible Arms. My entire being was fortified and I was 
inwardly prepared to meet the message of sorrow which was awaiting 
me the next day at the dock." 

The cable that reached them on landing said, "Lowell very ill. 
Come." Close on its heels came a second cable with the word of the 
little boy's death on July sixteenth. 

The details of Lowell's illness did not reach them till later. The 
child had been acutely sick only two days. His throat had been para- 
lyzed and he had died of suffocation in Anna Comfort's arms, conscious 
to the last, aware that he was dying, filled with love, not fear. "The 
dignity, I can truly say the majesty, of that choking child was wonder- 
ful to witness," Anna Comfort wrote to a cousin, easing her burdened 
heart by recording every detail. Unable to make her understand him, 
he signalled with his fingers in the air until pencil and paper were 


brought, then he wrote, "Books for Norris and Philip," two of his 
friends at Haverford. Once he raised his hand and patted her wet 
cheek in an attempt to comfort her. 

In England Rufus Jones knew only that the very core of his heart 
was gone. He and Elizabeth were with the Cadburys at the Manor 
that first week end, then Rufus Jones went to Scalby for a day or 
two with those dearest and closest friends, the Rowntrees. On the 23rd 
of July, less than a week after the crushing blow had fallen, Wood- 
brooke opened on schedule and he delivered his first address. 

The summer school had been planned in three sessions of two weeks 
each. Rufus Jones was to have given his series of ten lectures three 
times, but now his old friend George Barton was secured to substitute 
for him in the second and third session. 

The first two weeks of that summer school were a time of heightened 
significance for those who were there. To the natural excitement of 
the students over the beginning of a high emprise was added the 
poignant emotion of their sympathy for Rufus Jones and their ap- 
preciation of his courage in going ahead with the program. The 
lectures themselves, dealing with Present Day Ideas of God and the 
Spiritual Life, he considered in later years the most important course 
he had ever given. 

For him in the anguish of his grief it was undoubtedly best that he 
had this task to occupy him and the support of the love and wisdom 
of those around him. Philip Wicksteed, authority on Dante and Words- 
worth, who was also on the summer school faculty, was, he says, of 
"unique help in that early darkness" and through his lecture on St. 
Francis of Assisi opened up new understanding of the meaning of 
love. Rendel Harris stood by, and John Wilhelm Rowntree came to 
the Manor to be with his stricken friend for part of the time. 

When the students, who came from England, Australia, Dublin, 
Glasgow and Philadelphia, afterwards sent to Rufus Jones a gift of 
books, it was Philip Wicksteed who drafted the accompanying letter 
and summed up the impact of Rufus Jones's service to the summer 
school. "Every word you have spoken has come to us tried by the 
fire. It is not only that your heroic effort for our sake deeply moves 
us. It is the feeling that you yourself cared to give us in sorrow the 
things you had prepared for us in joy." 

An English Friend writing to Elizabeth Jones described the part 
which Elizabeth herself had taken in this harrowing time. "May I 
say that I have watched you daily and marvelled at the quiet way in 


which you were able to set aside your own feelings and natural anxiety 
for your husband and allow him to give his best for our benefit and 
I have wondered after all if you have not taught me a more needed 
lesson than any of the others." 

One morning during those sorrowful days Rufus Jones went out 
to take a walk in the neighborhood of Woodbrooke. Passing one of 
those houses so typically English with the little front garden enclosed 
by a wall and an iron gate, he saw a frightened child struggling to 
open the gate, which had swung shut and locked her out. The mother 
appeared, opened the gate and gathered up the sobbing child in her 
arms, exclaiming, "Didn't you know that Mother would come?" To 
Rufus Jones that became a more than once repeated parable of human 
life, with God on the other side of the gate. "Why should there be a 
gate?" he wrote in an editorial in The American Friend. "Because all 
our highest blessings and our supremely precious gains come through 
faith and not through sight. The whole training and discipline of life 
demand some mysteries and some strain and stretch of heart." 

By the middle of August Rufus and Elizabeth Jones were back in 
Ardonia, realizing to the full the finality of the loss which had some- 
times seemed like a bad dream from which they might awake. They 
faced the searing question whether, if they had been there, the boy 
might have been saved. According to medical opinion it was paralysis 
of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, possibly resulting from the 
serum with which he had been injected. Today an attack of poliomye- 
litis seems more probable. Their conclusion was, as Rufus Jones wrote 
to John Wilhelm Rowntree, "We find that it is very unlikely that any 
medical skill could have saved him." 

After a rest at Eaglesmere they returned to Haverford to take up 
work again without the presence of "the bright, keen, intelligent little 
lad with his trustful heart and quick appreciation of all about him." 

The stone in the Friends burial ground at Plattekill bore the in- 
scription, "Transplanted into the heavenly garden," a paraphrase of 
a stanza of Tennyson's In Memoriam which throughout his life Rufus 
Jones liked to quote: 

I know transplanted human worth 
Will bloom to profit otherwhere. 


"Social Law in the Spiritual World" 

Social Law in the Spiritual World: Studies in Divine- 
Human Interrelationship, which appeared both in the United States 
and in England in the autumn of 1904, was Rufus Jones's first sys- 
tematic statement of his philosophy, in so far as he can be said to have 
had a "system." Much of the material had been developed in his classes 
at Haverford, some of it had been the substance of editorials in The 
American Friend and of the essays on the mysticism of Paul and John 
which he wrote for Present Day Papers. It had formed the basis for 
his lectures at the Scarborough Summer School of 1901, the Wood- 
brooke Summer School of 1903, and the Haverford Summer School 
of 1904. It was the fruit of years of thought, study and discussion. 

It was not addressed to the fraternity of philosophers; it was in- 
tended for the ordinary reader who did not understand technical terms 
but who was willing to make an effort of thought and to become 
"something of a co-laborer with the writer." It was written in a 
style designed to make clear, much as he made philosophical concepts 
crystal clear to his college students, his insights as to "the nature and 
meaning of personal life with special emphasis upon their religious im- 

He wrote at a time when the very possibility of a spiritual interpreta- 
tion of man and the universe was under attack by materialist philosophy 
and the new psychology. The theologians with their concentration 
on petty divisions and quarrels seemed to him like men mending the 


roof when the house was on fire. Amazed "that so few persons seemed 
to know that the battle was on," he boldly approached the truths of 
religion through philosophy and psychology, feeling that this was 
the field where the crucial struggle was taking place. 

It is a little difficult now, when that phase of the battle is over 
and when the years of the first decade of this century blur into each 
other, to realize how clearly in the forefront of the thought of his 
time Rufus Jones was. By 1904 William James had published his 
Principles of Psychology and his Varieties of Religious Experience, 
but not Pragmatism or A Pluralistic Universe. The first Interna- 
tional Congress of Psychoanalists had not yet been held, and Freud's 
lectures on Psychoanalysis at Worcester, which would set in motion 
a whole new era, were still in the future. There was a rising interest 
in mysticism. Dean Inge had given his Bampton Lectures on Christian 
mysticism in 1899, but von Hiigel's more influential work. The Mys- 
tical Element of Religion, was not to appear for five more years. 
Walter Rauschenbush's Christianity and the Social Crisis, which 
was to arouse the conscience of the Christian churches to an extraor- 
dinary degree, would not be published till 1907. In 1904 when Rufus 
Jones flung open the rusty-hinged doors of religious thought and 
let in fresh gales of philosophical, psychological and social ideas, his 
action was both courageous and vitalizing. 

The title of his book frankly paraphrased Henry Drummond's 
Natural Law in the Spiritual World, which had appeared twenty 
years earlier, and it was his purpose to answer the challenge of psy- 
chology to religious faith as Drummond had met the challenge of 
geology and biology. "There is no religious view or practice," he 
wrote, "so sacred that it does not sooner or later find itself summoned 
into the sanctum of the psychologist, where it is calmly asked by what 
right it continues to survive and to hold a place in the lives of man- 

He acknowledged his debt to Palmer and Royce, to the books of 
William James, to Baldwin's works on "Mental Development," but his 
chief philosophical undergirdings are to be found in Plato, in Kant, 
and in Hegel as mediated through T. H. Green and John and Edward 
Caird, who, he said, had helped him more than any other British 
thinkers of recent times. He adopted Palmer's term, the conjunct 
self, and James's "the More" or "More yet." "Man," he said, "is not 
an isolated entity. He is conjunct with his fellow men and conjunct 
with God." "Every state of consciousness transcends its finitude, goes 


beyond its limits and is what it is because of the more yet which will 
explain and fulfil it." 

Kant, "that folio edition of a philosophical thinker," was to him 
the great figure in modern philosophy. He called Kant's "epoch- 
making" interpretation of the categorical moral imperative "this Co- 
pernican revolution in philosophy." He would say to his students, "We 
shall soon find that in spite of his splendid service we cannot settle 
down with Kant, we must go on and transcend him"; he would admit 
"inherent weaknesses" in Kant's system; he would point out that 
conscience depended on God rather than God on conscience as Kant 
held; but to the end of his life he built on the foundation that Kant 
laid, and he saw always in the moral imperative of man's nature a 
revelation of God. 

Following Kant's lead, he set forth in Social Law in the Spiritual 
World the futility of attempting to find God through logic, "at the 
end of a syllogism," or in the empirical world. He pointed to "one 
true path," that of personality, and listed the questions that must be 
asked. "Who am I? What do I live by? What does my personality 
involve? How am I related to my fellows and to nature? What does 
my sense of worth imply? What do I mean by goodness? Can I draw 
a finite circle about 'myself? Do I have any dealings with 'a Beyond'?" 
The answers to these questions would, he asserted, "bring us to that 
which is" 

The conclusions of the search he mapped out in advance: "We shall 
see as we proceed that we at least live our lives in a unified spiritual 
world — that something divine is woven into the texture of our per- 
sonal lives. We shall steadily find ourselves as we follow facts, moving 
toward a God who is Spirit, who has been revealed in a Person, and 
who can be found now because our finite spirits are interrelated with 
each other and with Him." 

The subconscious mind was in 1904 a fairly new discovery, and 
Rufus Jones wondered whether we might not find there "some real 
shekinah where we may meet with that Divine Companion, that More 
of Life in whom we live?" The theories of Freud and Jung, however, 
caused him to modify his attitude toward the subconscious in later 
years. "It did not take very long to discover," he wrote in 1936, "that 
the subliminal zone like subtropical ones had hissing serpents as well as 
glorious birds of paradise . . . There is undoubted wealth hidden away 
in the subsoil regions within us, below the threshold of consciousness, 
but we cannot yet, if ever, leap forthwith to the sound conclusion that 


God is assuredly most at home in regions which we cannot at present 

In the chapter on "The Testimony of Mysticism" he foreshadowed 
the study of mysticism which was to become so great a part of his 
contribution to religious thought and history. The mystics, he pointed 
out here, do not trouble themselves with arguments about God be- 
cause, having known Him by experience, they need no further proof. 
The reality of the mystical experience, the 'testimony of the Soul', 
was for Rufus Jones always valid, the laboratory test of God's exist- 

His examination of the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light was 
objective and critical and was considered in some quarters to be con- 
troversial. The early Friends, he pointed out, did not discover the 
Inner Light but they experienced it so freshly and universally, they 
acted upon its leadings with such uncompromising boldness and devo- 
tion, that it has become the distinguishing doctrine of Quakerism. 
When they wrote about it, however, they evinced some confusion 
of mind. They used indiscriminately the terms the Light, the Seed, 
the Christ Within, the Spirit, That of God in man, and by any or 
all of these terms they meant three things; "a Divine Life resident in 
the soul, a source of guidance, and a ground of spiritual certitude." 

Robert Barclay, the most theologically sophisticated of the early 
Friends and so well educated that he wrote his famous Apology in 
Latin first, explained the Inner Light in a way that Rufus Jones con- 
sidered both "unspiritual and contrary to all the known facts of 
psychology." Barclay made the Seed something foreign to man's 
nature, inserted into it, so that man remained forever a duality, "a 
human man plus a divine Seed or Light. This view placed so vast a 
gulf between the divine and the human that it left no basis for divine 
immanence; it made possible visitation by divine light from wholly 
beyond, but denied the possibility of God as "the indwelling light and 
life of the soul, permeating all the activities." It had moreover 
an unfortunate effect on Quaker ministry, making the person believe 
himself an entirely passive instrument through which the message 
comes without any thought or preparation of life on his part. The true 
Quaker principle, based on primitive experience, was that "man's spirit- 
ual nature is rooted and grounded in the Divine Life . . . The truth 
which comes will then be no injected revelation, no foreign irruption, 
but the genuine fruit and output of a personal life which unites in 
itself the finite and the infinite in one ever-expanding personality. The 


Inner Light, the true Seed, is no foreign substance added to an un- 
divine human life. It is neither human nor Divine. It is the actual inner 
self formed by the union of a Divine and a human element in a single 
undivided life." 

In his desire to emphasize the reality of divine immanence Rufus 
Jones came nearer in this passage to omitting the equally essential 
element of divine transcendence than he ever would again. "A God 
who is immanent, if He is to be thought of as Spirit, is just as certainly 
transcendent," he was to write unequivocally in Pathways to the 
Reality of God, and similar statements can be found in others of his 
books. But this early description of the nature of the Inner Light has 
not been acceptable to some elements of Quaker thought, who have 
read it by itself, perhaps, without placing later statements beside it, 
and have thought it laid him open to charges of humanism. In 1946 
when Rufus Jones was nearly eighty-four he wrote to a friend: 

"I am profoundly hostile to humanism and do not lean toward it, 
for humanism reduces man to a natural being, which I never do. I 
take the Genesis statement very seriously, that 'God made man in His 
own image' and G.F.'s reiterated phrase 'Something of God in every 
man.' I have spent my life studying the great mystics and I follow them 
in my interpretation of G.F.'s phrase. The use of 'seed' goes back to 
the great passage in I. Peter. Of course I have never implied in any 
of my writings that there is anything in man that would be adequate 
for spiritual life apart from God. Certainly the candle must be lighted 
by God; only the fact is that there is something in us that is kindred 
and can feel the Presence and can be set aflame." 

The test of spiritual guidance, whether it reaches us through the 
Bible, the Church, or the Inner Light, becomes in the end, according 
to Rufus Jones, the test of an individual. The Bible may be an in- 
fallible Book, but who is the infallible interpreter? Of many organized 
churches, which one produces conclusions that are invariably right? 
Can every revelation of the Spirit claimed by individuals be accepted 
as authentic? What if two revelations conflict? Does each person be- 
come "a full tiaraed Pope?" 

To this problem, which has always been a troubling one to Quakers, 
the early Friends, he felt, had the solution, though they did not formu- 
late it in their writings. He proposed two tests. One was the test of 
life-results, the spiritual vitality and effectiveness of personality of the 
individual. The other was the measuring of the individual guidance 
against the spiritual experience of the group. "The spirit in one man 


must be tested by the spirit in many men. The individual must read 
his inward state in the light of the social spiritual group. He is not, 
and he cannot be, an independent organ of God. He can have part in 
the divine life at all only as he is one person in a spiritually organized 

"He must therefore learn to know God's will not merely in private 
inward bubblings, but by genuinely sharing in a wider spiritual order 
through which God is showing Himself." 

In the final chapter, "The Divine-Human Life," Rufus Jones re- 
states in Christian terms the thesis which he has developed through 
philosophical and psychological concepts. This chapter, in which the 
writings of St. Paul and St. John and to a lesser extent the Synoptic 
Gospels are examined for the light they throw on the Divine-Human 
Life, seems somewhat separated from the rest of the book, not only by 
the specifically Christian content but by the style in which it is writ- 
ten. The traces of an earlier and more conventional style and a more 
theological approach tend to mar the unity of the book as a whole. 

Sin he defines in the words of the Theologia Germanica as the 
turning away of the creature from the unchangeable Good. Man, who 
has free will, is free to withdraw into separateness, to refuse to seek 
spiritual goals. Since, however, it is impossible for the rebellious soul 
to fall out of the organic whole, his sin does not defeat the divine 
movement towards holiness but "takes its place in the spiritual universe 
as a thing to be put down and triumphed over." 

On the whole, in his writings, Rufus Jones had little to say about 
sin and evil. If his phrase, "the divine movement towards holiness," 
quoted above, suggests the belief in inevitable progress which nine- 
teenth century liberals embraced as the accompaniment of evolution, 
he abandoned that point of view in later years, when he declared in 
several places that the "cosmic elevator" was no longer running. Evil, 
he said in The Eternal Gospel, arises as the result of man's freedom. 
But a few years later he was not sure even of that. "I cannot deny 
the fact of evil," he wrote in New Eyes for Invisibles, "nor can I 
accept any of the explanations I have heard given of it. It remains an 
unsolved problem, a huge mystery." 

Redemption is not a legalistic device to avoid eternal punishment 
but the only means of making personality. "Jesus Christ is the supreme 
channel in human history for the personal communication of God — 
the revelation of the Divine and the human, united in one personality. 
By Him God came to humanity and through Him was expressed the 


Type toward which personal life should move, and in Him was ex- 
hibited the eternal patience and sacrifice and love of God." 

In this book Rufus Jones brought to maturity the style that was so 
distinctly his and so distinctive in itself that the London Times would 
in a few years bracket him and William James as the "two best stylists 
writing in America today." There is so far no example of his charac- 
teristic use of a humorous anecdote to illumine a point, but the clarity, 
the persuasiveness, the easy pace, the apt example and analogy, the use 
of quotation to explain, not to adorn, are all in evidence. The variety 
of his quotations reveals the catholicity of his reading and his love of 
poetry. Goethe, Whittier, Browning, Tennyson, Arnold, Emerson, 
Fitzgerald, George Macdonald, Coleridge, Lowell, Shakespeare, 
George Herbert and Dante are summoned to drive home, with the 
impact and economy of the poet, the ideas of the philosopher. 

When one considers the make-up of the summer schools to which 
these lectures were originally presented, the large number of young 
men and women under thirty, the sizable proportion of older Friends 
eager for renewed inspiration but unaccustomed to disciplined thought 
(and many of them hard of hearing at that), one salutes Rufus Jones's 
faith in the intellectual as well as the divine potentialities in every 
man. It is easy to understand the case of the woman who rose in a 
meeting after Rufus Jones had delivered an address and said in a voice 
trembling with feeling, "Our dear Lord said, 'Feed my lambs.' He did 
not say, 'Feed my giraffes.' " 

The reception of Social Law in the Spiritual World by Friends 
was disappointing. The Friends Intelligencer, it is true, the organ of 
the Hicksite Branch which, from the first days of his arrival in Phil- 
adelphia had been cordial to Rufus Jones, praised "this logical, limpid 
and convincing book" in a prompt and rather long review. The re- 
viewer, however, apparently did not feel competent to do more than 
summarize the contents, and there was no real evaluation of the ideas 
or their importance. The Friend resolutely ignored it. The London 
Friend reviewed it in a way that dealt a lasting hurt. "Rufus Jones has 
struck oil in the title to his last book," it began flippantly, and con- 
tinued, "His exposition of this aspect of modern thought is worthy 
of most careful elaboration. The world awaits a competent expounder 
of the theme ... In discussing 'the Inner Light' on pages 1 74-5 Rufus 
Jones throws himself open to question . . . Rufus Jones has started on 
lines that lead to the discovery of a new gold-mine of thought, if 


carefully studied. We shall be very glad if his theme takes hold of 

He wrote of his chagrin to John Wihelm Rowntree, to whom the 
book was dedicated: "I am considerably tried over the awkward 
notice of my book in the London Friend. It could hardly have been 
worse. I should have welcomed a criticism which showed insight. But 
to praise the title and to say that it is a good subject for somebody else 
to work up is pretty bad!" 

John Wilhelm Rowntree wrote back consolingly, "With regard 
to the review of your book in the Friend, I would not for one moment 
allow it to trouble you . . . Your book has taken great hold here and 
will not suffer in the least on account of what the Friend has said. It 
is partly because of the deep impression I feel that it is making that I 
am so anxious to have you over at the Yearly Meeting." 

Three years later, George Newman, son of the editor of the London 
Friend and himself editor of the much respected Friends Quarterly 
Examiner, wrote an article praising Rufus Jones's analysis of Barclay's 
dualism in his Social Law in the Spiritual World and also in an 
essay on "The Divine Purpose in Human Life" which he had written 
subsequently for the Friends Fellowship Papers. "Whatever be the 
effect of Dr. Rufus Jones's book and paper on Quakerism in America 
— and it cannot be without effect — its influence on Quakerism in 
England will we trust be to stimulate us and rouse us to our calling. 
For now 'the time of our peace is past.' We must no longer be back- 
ward and slothful in our presentation of the splendid message which 
has been given us to bear to the world. Slothful and stupid we have 
been for long enough; self-complacent and snug in our little meeting 
houses we have allowed the great stream to pass us by; self centered we 
have forgotten that the inward life can only be revealed in an outward 
service for others." 

The letter which Rufus Jones wrote in reply to George Newman 
reveals the disappointment which he had felt. "I was beginning to 
wonder whether there was any use trying to bring any larger points 
of view to the notice of Friends. All my attempts seemed to fall so 
flat that I questioned whether I was not wasting my time and ink! 
The studies on 'Inner Light' in 'Social Law' resulted in getting the 
book on the 'Index' here in Phila. It was excluded from 'Friends 
Library.' Elsewhere it has been left largely to the oblivion of silence. 
This recent study, which I felt was the most important chapter I had 
yet written was receiving a slender, nagging sort of comment which 


quite depressed me. Thy study of it was the first word I had had which 
indicated an appreciation of its significance." 

Outside the Quaker fold, however, the book attracted wide notice. 
It was reviewed in newspapers across the country, from the Boston 
Transcript ("Philosophic insight and restraint combined with a rare 
gift of expression renders this book an interesting and valuable addition 
to the science of religion") to the Los Angeles Times ("The book lacks 
that clear conviction that was Drummond's"). 

The Nation, London, reviewed the second edition published by 
the Swarthmore Press in 1908, when the first edition of 2500 copies had 
been exhausted, in somewhat condescending terms, as a "manual on 
the central mysteries of the soul, brief and untechnical, true so far 
as it goes, and preserved from error through its author's familiarity 
with a wider field." Though it found that "some of its rather dashing 
style is, doubtless, American," it was obliged in the end to succumb 
to its appeal: "The beautiful and winning description of the way to 
God by one who has trodden that way may be of untold value to 
many an inquirer." 

It was in the end not the effect upon reviewers but the effect upon 
the readers that was important and that has made this book live. Dr. 
Harry Emerson Fosdick can speak for a host of others. In his auto- 
biography, The Living of These Days, he writes: 

"Along with Walter Rauschenbusch, another personality deeply 
influenced me — Rufus Jones, the Quaker. His book, Social Law in 
the Spiritual World, was published the year I came to Montclair 
and reading it was a memorable event in my life. After that I devoured 
everything he wrote." In the introduction to his Rufus Jones Speaks 
to Our Time, he describes himself and the impact of the book upon 
him in these words: "A young man, just entering on his ministry, con- 
fused by the theological wrangles of his time, and struggling to find 
a footing for his faith, the editor of this anthology ran upon 'Social 
Law in the Spiritual World.' That book opened the door to a new era 
in my thought and life and, re-reading it recently, I perceived afresh 
how much of my message has been rooted in the rich soil which that 
book provided." 

It was the first of an impressive list of books to find an eager audience 
outside of the Society of Friends, and it was at least one of the reasons 
why Seth Gifford could say, and say truly, "Rufus Jones is the most 
influential Friend in the world." 

The publication of this book was not the only — or the most im- 


portant — event for Rufus Jones in the year 1904. On July 27th the 
much-hoped-for little daughter was born and named Mary Hoxie for 
his mother. "I can hardly hold in I am so happy," he wrote to John 
Wilhelm Rowntree. 

In this year the Providence Friends School was reorganized and 
renamed the Moses Brown School, and a new principal was sought. 
The position held for twenty-five years by his cousin Augustine Jones 
was now offered to Rufus Jones. When he refused, his old teacher and 
present colleague, Seth Gifford, accepted it. The Gifford house on 
College Circle, then called Cricket Circle because it overlooked the 
cricket field, became available and Rufus Jones bought it. In Septem- 
ber the three Joneses moved in. 

For the next forty-four years this roomy, comfortable, architec- 
turally undistinguished house in its beautiful setting of trees and lawns, 
was Rufus Jones's home. Here was his study, with the tiled fireplace, 
the roll-top desk, the well-used books with underscored passages, the 
photographs of his spiritual and philosophical heroes, the shabby couch, 
and the charcoal drawing of Lowell made after his death from photo- 
graphs. Here was the porch with the row of rocking-chairs, where 
Rufus Jones loved to sit, watching cricket practice and talking with 
the ever-increasing stream of people — faculty children, students, col- 
leagues, Friends, philosophers, world-renowned leaders and unknown 
inarticulate seekers — who came to drink at his fountain. 

In 1905 Ada Smith came to 2, College Circle, to serve and love the 
family as long as Rufus and Elizabeth Jones lived. The daughter of 
Virginia slaves, she could neither read nor write, but her native in- 
telligence, her religious faith and her devotion to her Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones and her Miss Mary made her the fourth member of the family. 
"She knew her 'Mr. Jones' was a great man," writes Mary Hoxie 
Jones, "and she did everything possible to make his life comfortable. It 
was to Ada that Rufus Jones said his last farewell before leaving the 
house on a trip and to Ada that he gave his first joyous shout of greet- 
ing when he returned." 

Shaping the Course of Things 

W e are still hoping," wrote Rufus Jones to John Wilhelm Rown- 
tree early in 1905, "that the next letter will tell us to 'cool off' one 
of our rooms for an English visitor from the Yorkshire moors! We 
will have water in the pitcher duly frozen and the wind shall 
blow across the bed all night!" 

The gaiety was at least in part a cover for very real concern about 
John Wilhelm's health, which had been steadily deteriorating. It was 
decided now that he should come for six weeks of rigorous treat- 
ments in Chicago, and that he should visit Haverford before and 
after. With his wife Constance he sailed from England late in 

On the voyage he caught a cold which developed into pneumonia 
and affected his kidneys. When Rufus Jones, full of joyous expecta- 
tion, met the Caronia on March fourth he found his friend delirious 
and unable to recognize him. "Rufus!" he kept saying piteously. 
"This isn't the real Rufus!" 

During the next few hours, as if he moved through a nightmare, 
Rufus Jones summoned an ambulance and sent his friends off to the 
hospital while he stayed behind to see their luggage through customs. 
He had no keys and the customs official, refusing to believe his story, 
broke the locks and ransacked everything. 

During the five days that remained of John Wilhelm Rowntree's 
life, he did not once recognize Rufus Jones, though he called for 


him again and again. His mind hovered about his history of Quakerism 
and he begged to be allowed to finish it. On the ninth of March he 
died, aged thirty-six. 

The funeral was held at Haverford Meeting and he was buried 
in the corner of the little graveyard there. He had had many friends 
in America and the meeting house was packed with Quakers of all 
shades of thought, united in their sorrow and their desire to do honor 
to the young English Friend whose leadership had been so luminous 
and so important. For the ten years since the Manchester Conference 
he had been, as Rufus Jones wrote in The American Friend, "the 
unique inspiring leader of that epoch of our Quaker history." 

As soon as the news of John Wilhelm's illness reached England, 
his cousin Arnold Rowntree sailed for America, arriving after the 
funeral was over. He took Connie, who was expecting a baby, back 
to England. 

The loss of his great friend was the last of the bitter blows that 
death dealt to Rufus Jones. His father had died at the age of seventy- 
eight in a railroad accident the year before. His Aunt Peace, who 
was not to die in the body until May, 1907, had been for several years 
mentally so lost that her actual death at the age of ninety-three was 
only the confirmation of something that had happened some time 
ago. But John Wilhelm Rowntree, especially since those days after 
Lowell's death when he had entered so closely into Rufus Jones's 
grief, had been one of the most important factors in his life. The 
task which he was left to carry on alone was immeasurably heavier 
without the support and the faith of his comrade. 

Two of John Wilhelm's projects for Quakerism were going 
forward vigorously: Woodbrooke was well established and the 
Summer Schools had become a part of the pattern of the period and 
would continue under their own momentum. A third, the magazine, 
Present Day Papers, which had flourished for a few years, would 
now have to be laid down. The Quaker History, so much on John 
Wilhelm's mind at the last, remained a question. Could that be 
allowed to drop? Evidently Rufus Jones at once wrote to John 
Wilhelm's father about his concern, for on the 29th of March Joseph 
Rowntree replied: 

"Constance and Arnold reached Plymouth on Monday morning 
and last night I had a long conversation with the former about the 
History in which John was so much interested. Before we knew 
what had been passing in thy mind, some of us here had been feeling 


strongly about it and seriously hoped that it might not be abandoned 
or indeed seriously delayed. We very much value thy offer of help 
and know how valuable it will be. Constance thinks that from thy 
conversations with John, thou has a clearer view of the proposed 
scope and general scheme of the work than any one in England, 
and I think it would be a great help at this stage if thou would kindly 
have put down thy conception of what this scheme was. With this 
before us it might be easier to reach the next stage in the work, and 
to see the divisions into which the History would fall. . . . 

"As thou knows John's purpose was not merely to write a History 
which might be of general interest, but he had the very practical 
aim of so bringing out the lessons of the past as to throw light upon 
the problems of the present, both in our own community and in the 
Church at large. There will need to be some common understanding 
among the writers so that, as the chapters go on, there may be a 
concentration of thought in certain directions, and the final chapter 
in which the threads are gathered together will, I think, be one of 
very special importance." 

He went on to speak of the Rowntree Trust for Charitable Pur- 
poses, which he had established a few months earlier, the funds of 
which would be applicable to this enterprise. 

That summer, leaving Elizabeth Jones and Mary at Pocono, Rufus 
Jones went to England, to lecture at two summer schools and to con- 
fer with Joseph Rowntree and others about the History. 

It was not a long trip; he was away from home only a little 
over six weeks in all. He visited Connie Rowntree at Low Hall, 
the beautiful house started before John Wilhelm's death and only 
recently finished, he had lunch with George and Elizabeth Cadbury 
at their summer home in Robin Hood's Bay, where "we ate outdoors — 
the wind blowing nigh a gale and the warsps [sic] so thick that it was 
a survival of the fittest," and stopped to "see Woodbrooke and Rendel 
and other wonders" before he went with Joshua Rowntree, the cousin 
who was editing John Wilhelm's papers, to Street, near Glastonbury, 
for the first summer school. 

To a group of some two hundred he gave four lectures, on Psy- 
chology and Religion, The Historic and the Inward Christ, The 
Atonement, and Prayer, the last three of which became the basis 
for one of his most loved books, The Double Search, which was 
published the following year. Parts of the chapter on Prayer he used 
again in his last book of all, A Call to What Is Vital, written just 
before his death in 1948. 


"Is not the advance of science making prayer impossible?" he 
asked, and went on to discuss the modern view of the universe, 
in which there are no uncaused events. "If we met a person who 
told us that he had seen a train of cars drawn along with no 
couplings and held together by the mutual affection of the passengers 
in the different cars we should know that he was an escaped lunatic 
and we should go on pinning our faith to couplings as before." 

He answered his question by showing that what endangered faith 
was not the advance of science but the "stagnation of religious 
conceptions." "If religion halts at some primitive level," he said, 
"and science marches on to new conquests, of course there will be 
difficulty . . . We need to rise to a truer view of God and to a loftier 
idea of prayer . . . On the higher religious plane no collision between 
prayer and science will be found." "True prayer is immediate spiritual 

"R. Jones touched all our hearts as usual," wrote Jessie Lloyd to 
Elizabeth Jones. "I won't dilate! You know how we all love him over 
here and what he has been to so many. It was lovely to see those 
who had never seen him or come under his influence feel the good- 
ness and uplift behind the mere words." 

Rufus Jones himself felt that the first of the four lectures did not 
take hold. The hall was a difficult one in which to speak, he was 
tired, the audience was "sluggish"; but then the tide began to rise, 
and in the end reached a height which he felt was "extraordinary." 

Between this summer school and the next, which was held at Scalby 
for a much smaller group and which was chiefly a memorial to John 
Wilhelm Rowntree, the important conference on the History took 
place at Low Hall, on September fourth and fifth. Besides Joseph 
Rowntree and Rufus Jones, those who met in John Wilhelm's library 
were B. Seebohm Rowntree, brother of John Wilhelm, Arnold S. 
Rowntree, Joshua Rowntree, William Charles Braithwaite, T. Edmund 
Harvey, and A. Neave Brayshaw. Except for Joseph and Joshua 
Rowntree, who belonged to the older generation, these were the 
emerging leaders among the English Friends; their voices would be 
clearly heard over the twenty or thirty years to come. Having lost 
John Wilhelm Rowntree, they were disposed to look to his friend 
Rufus Jones for guidance and inspiration. 

Rufus Jones had prepared for this meeting with care. "I rather 
dread tomorrow for I must more or less shape the course of things 
and a good deal hangs on our decision," he wrote to Elizabeth Jones 
on September third. "It will quite settle my future for some years to 


come. I have briefly sketched out a plan which I shall present." For 
nearly eight years he and John Wilhelm Rowntree had talked over the 
plan for the history, had written to each other about it, and he had 
John Wilhelm's letter of October 15, 1903, in which he had drawn 
up three objectives: 

"The object I have in view is not to write an encyclopedic history 
of Quakerism nor to collect material which has only an antiquarian 
interest but rather to study Quakerism as an evolution . . . The lines 
of study would be three-fold: (1) An attempt would be made to 
analyse the content of 17th century Quaker thought, to trace its 
development through the 18th and 19th centuries in its relation to the 
rationalism of the 18th, the modern thought of the 19th and to the 
evangelical revival of both centuries ... (2) An attempt would be 
made to trace the changes and development in church organization 
and especially in relation to the practical problem of the free 
ministry ... (3) Finally an attempt would be made to trace the rela- 
tions between Quakerism and the social problem." 

It had long been decided between them that Rufus Jones was to 
write a preliminary volume or volumes tracing the course of mystical 
movements and the place of Quakerism in the stream of mystical 

Rufus Jones presented his plan for the entire history to the group 
at Low Hall. They discussed it for a day and a half, drew up a final 
outline — and then all went off for a ten-mile walk. 

The plan called for a series of volumes, each with an introduction 
relating it to the whole study, which was to deal with Quakerism 
"as an evolution and as an experiment in spiritual and social Chris- 
tianity." Authors were tentatively assigned to different volumes, and 
Rufus Jones was to be editor of the whole as well as to write several 
of the volumes himself. The first volume, which was to be his, should 
set forth "the historical development of inward and spiritual Christian- 
ity as in contrast to the ecclesiastical and ritualistic types," William 
Charles Braithwaite was to write on the formative periods of Quaker- 
ism. The Rowntree Trust would supply funds for research, travel, 
secretarial help and books, as well as underwriting the expenses of 

When they started on that ten-mile walk, a project had been set in 
motion that would occupy much of Rufus Jones's time and thought 
and energy for sixteen years to come, the period that was to cover 
also the First World War and the founding of the most far-reaching 


and absorbing enterprise with which he was ever to be associated, 
the American Friends Service Committee. 

The second summer school was held as Scalby immediately after 
the conference. Many of the students he had known at Woodbrooke 
the previous summer. In addition to four lectures at the summer 
school and numerous individual interviews, he gave a public address 
on Sunday evening on the lawn near Scarborough Castle, to which 
two thousand people came, evidence of the drawing power that his 
name had already won in England. Soon after the middle of Septem- 
ber, he was at home again, deep in his book on mysticism. 

He had started work on it more than a year earlier. A letter of 
February 9, 1904, thanked John Wilhelm Rowntree for a gift of 
books: "The dear old mystics arrived at my door safe and sound. 
It is a splendid collection and added to what I already had gives me 
just the tools I need for my magnum opus. There are many precious 
books in this collection which I never should have owned but for 
your grace and goodness. Law's Behmen, Henry More's great folios, 
Gorres Christliche Mystik, Everard, the History of Hai Ibn Yokdan, 
and Poiret's Divine Economy are some of the most prized. But there 
is not a book in the lot which is not important, in fact indispensable 
for my purpose. The love, which brought them to me, has through 
all my months of sorrow been a genuine comfort, and now I must 
show what I can do with them." 

Now the Rowntree Trust made it possible for him to buy all the 
books he needed and to build up a collection of mystical literature 
which is one of the most complete of its kind in the United States. 
He had also started a Haverford graduate of 1904, Howard H. 
Brinton, on the task of research. For a year he had been reading the 
mystics, in English, and taking notes on cards. Elizabeth Jones 
similarly was reading and abstracting the writings of the German 
mystics. Her disciplined mind and her knowledge of German made 
her able to give real help to her husband. 

Rufus Jones set aside two mornings a week for work on the book, 
Tuesdays and Thursdays, but as he was always available to the 
students at any time and as on Thursdays he went to Meeting, the 
work must have suffered many interruptions. 

The problems and divisions of Quakerism continued also to demand 
his attention, and he traveled far and wide in the United States 
during those years, speaking to yearly meetings and to Quaker 


The establishment of the Five Years Meeting, successful though 
it was, had not solved all problems. Among the evangelical group, 
the Gurneyites, there was an extremist wing which was not satisfied 
with the moderate stand of the majority. "The history of religion 
has shown over and over again that creeds do not unite, they tend 
to divide," writes Howard Brinton in Friends for Three Hundred 
Years. "A group held together by a creed is more brittle and more 
subject to breakage than a more yielding organic group held together 
by the Spirit." These extremist Friends, who would have liked to use 
the Letter to the Governor of Barbados and the Richmond Declaration 
of Faith as a creed, belonged to a strain that had entered Quakerism 
during the great revival of evangelical religion which took place 
shortly after the Civil War and which had profoundly affected all 
religious sects, including the Society of Friends. "Evangelists travelled 
from place to place, bringing multitudes to their knees crying for 
mercy and forgiveness. Quakers who had become evangelists or 
evangelists who had become Quakers held revival meetings in Friends 
meeting houses . . . They preached a fourfold gospel of Justification, 
Sanctiflcation, the Second Coming of Christ and Faith Healing." 
They clung, even in the early iooo's, to revivalist methods, to funda- 
mentalism and a literal reading of the Bible; they recognized no other 
interpretation than their own as valid. 

To this group modern thought was not only dangerous but evil 
and they looked askance at Rufus Jones's efforts to prevent the 
"stagnation of religious conceptions." 

"The tension between liberal and evangelical wings of the Society 
increased greatly between 1905 and 1907," wrote Elbert Russell in 
his History of Quakerism. ". . . The intolerance of certain evan- 
gelical leaders and especially the influence of The Evangelical Friend 
threatened the unity of the Society." 

Of this threat Rufus Jones was acutely aware. The Evangelical 
Friend was a weekly periodical set up in June, 1905 by members of 
this wing. That its editorials pointed directly at him when they 
called loudly for the removal of all "unsoundness" from the ministry 
and the rooting out of all "modern thought" from the Quaker 
colleges did not trouble him for he knew well his own strength, but 
its emotional impact on the small rural meetings, the lack of con- 
fidence among Friends which it engendered, and the resultant division 
and discord where peace and love should prevail were deeply dis- 
turbing. "There seems to be no way to check the movement," he 


wrote to George Newman, "as it is semi-fanatical and not amenable 
to rational stearing [sic]. I still hope for better days, but the task 
of saving Quakerism in America is to say the least gigantic ... I 
am, however, not discouraged but I am almost staggered at our 

In June, 1905, he made a trip to California to give the commence- 
ment address at Whittier College and to attend California Yearly 
Meeting. On the way he stopped between trains at Kansas City and 
took a sightseeing tour, of which he wrote: "Kansas City is a wonder. 
It is the greatest that ever was, according to the man with the mega- 
phone. As a matter of fact it is both fine and horrid. The park side 
of the city is beautiful and marked by good taste, while the stock- 
yard part of the city was suggestive of Gehenna." 

There was among California Friends a strong element of the 
"narrow wing" and when he first began to speak there he was aware 
of a tide against him. After the Commencement Address he wrote 
to Elizabeth Jones, "Hurrah, the ordeal is over and I am still alive. 
Everybody has been very kind to me and there will be no row at 
all ... I shall not dread anything else as I did this afternoon." 

At the Yearly Meeting he was asked at the last minute to give an 
address on temperance besides the one on education that he had 
prepared. He decided to make the additional effort, because, "if I can 
do it well, it will win over the very element I want to reach." 

Both talks went well. Though he had thought that "the meeting 
did not quite rise to" his talk on education, still the college people 
were full of praise and gratitude, and on Saturday afternoon, when 
mention had been made of The American Friend, the entire group 
spontaneously got to its feet and gave him a standing vote of con- 
fidence. The temperance address that night was an immense success, 
and over-stimulated (his own eloquence as heady as alcohol), he was 
unable to sleep afterwards. The next day he preached to a church 
congregation of a thousand, "went out to dinner and had to be enter- 
taining but I was pretty limp," and spoke again that evening. The 
next morning he wrote with understandable jubilation, "Hallelujah! 
I am through!" 

From Pasadena he went to Pacific Grove to visit his old school and 
college friend, Augustus Murray, by this time professor of Greek 
at Leland Stanford, and here, after two more sleepless nights and the 
fatigue of traveling, "struck his first Waterloo." "I had hardly got 
into bed when an ominous noise was here [heard] in my lungs and 


pretty soon I filled up tight full with asthma. It was no worse in 
degree than I have had before but it didn't come to any end. It 
lasted till the morning . . . About 9 Gus came. I was a t.r. with 
bloodshot eyes and a woebegone look but I soon braced up." "T.r." 
was a family expression which appears at intervals in his letters to the 
end of his life. It stood for "total (w)reck." 

After a heart-warming day with his friend, a swim in the bay and 
hours of talk lying on the sand in the sunshine, he went on much 
refreshed to Oregon, where he expected to address a group of 
Friends in Portland. When he got there, however, after a night 
on the train, he found that the meeting was scheduled in Newberg, 
twenty-six miles away. There were no trains that would get him 
to Newberg in time to speak and back again for his train east. 
Consternation. Rufus Jones was determined. He hit upon the daring 
and expensive plan of hiring an automobile at three dollars an hour. 

The road was rough and hilly; part of it was corduroy. It took 
nearly three hours to do the twenty-six miles. In the Main Street of 
Newberg, which was being repaired, the car stuck fast in loose 
gravel. The three passengers got out and shoved — with, Rufus Jones 
commented drily, "plenty of spectators looking on." 

After supper at Pacific College, they went to the Meeting House 
for the program. "It soon filled up with Friends and after an im- 
pressive period of worship and devotion I gave the message which 
was on my heart. All weariness disappeared and the efforts of the 
day were forgotten. It was our one hour together and an hour not 
to be forgotten. There are times when heaven seems wonderfully 
near and the way of life seems clear." When he left, to take the 
bumpy way back in the dark over the corduroy road, the Friends 
gathered on the meeting-house porch to see him off, singing "God 
be with you till we meet again." "I never felt anything was more 
worth doing than this trip," he wrote, "and I never felt more drawn 
to a company of people than to these Friends in Newberg." 

Whatever barricades people might erect against the figure that they 
imagined him to be, they were usually helpless when they came 
face to face with the person that he actually was. He told the story 
in The American Friend of the little London girl who wrote in a 
school essay, "The only place in the city where you can see wild 
beasts is in the Theological Garden," but there were no snarls and 
growls in Rufus Jones's theology. His letters are full of the friendships 
that blossomed along the path of his travels. 


In Pasadena the man who had led the opposition against him 
and who had actually persuaded the Committee of Ministry and 
Oversight to "condemn" his writings, was John Henry Douglas. 
Rufus Jones's meeting with him was characteristic. "I got there just 
as meeting was beginning," he wrote, "and rushed up to J.H.D. with 
enthusiasm. He was a good deal flustered but he said the right 
things . . . After Meeting hosts of friends came up to speak to me. 
The ice was really broken. I have arranged to visit John Henry 
Douglas. His daughter Mellie, my old classmate at Providence, was 
there and she was very glad to see me." 

The letters are full too of his eager response to the natural beauty 
that he met along the way. The Grand Canyon, Santa Catalina 
Island, the snow-topped mountains of northern California and 
Oregon, the Canadian Rockies filled him with delight, and he de- 
scribed them to his wife with the same fresh joy and awe that the 
Maine woods and China Lake had aroused in him as a boy. 

In 1907 he made a trip to the middle west at the end of January 
and beginning of February, when the period of mid-year examinations 
freed him from his college classes, to give lectures on Quakerism 
at Wilmington College in Ohio, Friends University in Kansas, Penn 
College in Iowa, and Earlham in Indiana. During the two weeks of 
this circuit he had a constant struggle with late trains, missed meals, 
ice, sleet, blizzards, strange beds and other hazards. Styes, colds, and 
asthma added their misery to the inevitable fatigue. 

In Wichita he met real opposition from the old guard, who flocked 
to the meetings from neighboring towns and villages. 

"It was a much tougher proposition than at Wilmington," he 
wrote. "The Bible Institute complicated the situation. Most of the 
provincial Friends were red hot anti-modern thought and the issue 
was raised from the first. Alfred Ware and Prof. Jay were very out- 
spoken in favor of modern thought and finally yesterday afternoon 
Pres. Stanley got up and delivered a terrible speech — delivered to 
the gallery. It attacked evolutionists and higher critics. He inflamed 
and scared all the ignorant and descended almost to the level of 
ranting. It was one of the worst things I have ever heard. I went 
to him and told him what I thought of it and I told him I had a 
mind not to give my last lecture, that I did not propose to spend my 
breath lecturing if the people wanted the sort of thing he had 
given them. He was a good deal cut up and promised 'to fix things 
up,' which he did in a second speech. I resolved to do or die on my 


final chance at them so I blew off the safety valve and let her go. 
I hit the audience from the start and the sympathy grew as I went 
on. When I finished as many as fifty of the young people got up 
from all over the house and came forward and pledged themselves 
to help carry out the kind of Quakerism I had been presenting." 

His final lecture was "The Message of Quakerism to the Modern 
World." The text is not extant, but it seems probable that the 
burden of it was similar to that of an address given to New York 
Yearly Meeting six months earlier entitled, "Problems of Twentieth 
Century Quakerism," in which he had said, "It is the duty of every 
Quaker and every Quaker meeting to study the social conditions of 
its neighborhood. Nothing less than a great human brotherhood of 
sympathy and helpfulness will satisfy the demands of Christ." 
Quaker youth everywhere were eager to respond to a call to service. 

These experiences will serve as examples of the numerous speaking 
trips that he made during these years. In addition he was again in 
England in the summer of 1906, when he took part in a summer 
school at Bakewell in Derbyshire, speaking on "The Message of 
Quakerism to the Needs of Today." 

Again this year as before there was a two-day meeting at Scalby 
about the progress of the History. He worked closely with English 
Friends on this great project and though the leadership and much 
of the responsibility was his, there was a complete meeting of minds 
on the question of policy, scope and approach. After the conference 
there were a few days for sightseeing and relaxation; Arnold Rown- 
tree drove him to Fountains Abbey, and he visited the Hodgkins in 

Elizabeth Jones, who was at home taking care of a sick baby, wrote 
affectionately, "My best way of helping seems to be just to stay 
behind and not mind ... So I am going to try to do it as cheerfully 
as I can — and keep on loving thee more than ever." 

Two years later, however, when he was able to take a sabbatical 
leave during the second semester, in order to finish his book on the 
mystics, Elizabeth Jones and three-year-old Mary accompanied him 
to England. They sailed on the 28th of March and went straight to 
Charlbury, a village thirteen miles from Oxford on a branch of the 
Thames, where they rented a house for three months. 

It was an old gray stone house with its front door directly on the 
street and a garden behind, where fruit trees were espaliered on sunny 
walls, a two-hundred-year-old mulberry spread its branches, and 


asparagus and strawberries ripened for their table. Down the street 
was a thirteenth century church with a yard where nursemaids and 
babies still sit on benches in the sun, and up the street and around 
the corner stood the little Friends Meeting House. They paid a pound 
a week rent for the house (furnished with canopied bedsteads and 
other treasures, including an iron bathtub that terrified small Mary) 
another pound for the wages of gardener and maid, and something 
more for a nursemaid — halcyon days, indeed. 

Every day Rufus Jones went by train to Oxford, where he at- 
tended lectures, chiefly at Christ Church and Balliol, and spent 
long hours working at the Bodleian Library, where, he wrote, he had 
"indeed entered into a more than royal treasure house without 
money and without price." Though there were cordial letters from 
a number of lecturers giving him permission to attend their lectures, 
it is not possible — and probably not especially significant — to say 
exactly whom he did hear. It is certain that he heard William James 
deliver the Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College in May, which 
were later published under the title A Pluralistic Universe. "His 
main purpose was to present an alternative to monistic idealism," 
wrote Ralph Barton Perry, "and thus to consolidate the opposition. 
This he delighted to do at Oxford — in the very stronghold of monistic 

Though Rufus Jones quoted from A Pluralistic Universe in 
Pathways to the Reality of God he followed his quotation by the 
disclaimer, "I am not here endorsing James' well-known conception 
of God, which I do not share." He admired James and was stimulated 
by him, but he remained an idealist. 

It seems probable that he also heard Hastings Rashdall lecture, 
as well as William McDougall, J. A. Smith and J. A. Stewart. 

Most of the time, however, he spent reading at the Bodleian or 
writing in the old house at Charlbury. Studies in Mystical Religion 
was finished during the spring and summer and some of the chapters 
sent to the printer. It was Joseph Rowntree's idea that chapters should 
be printed separately as pamphlets and sent to various experts to be 
read and criticized. Hastings Rashdall and Dean Inge were among 
those who cooperated in the plan, but on the whole Rufus Jones felt 
it did not justify the expense of money and time and the method 
was dropped for succeeding volumes. During these months he was 
in constant demand for addresses at monthly and quarterly meetings, 
schools, summer schools and like gatherings. In May all three went 


to Birmingham to attend London Yearly Meeting, staying with the 
Cadburys at the Manor House. 

The evening before the Yearly Meeting began, Rufus Jones gave 
the first Swarthmore Lecture. Established by the Woodbrooke Ex- 
tension Committee as "an annual lecture on some subject relating to 
the message and work of the Society of Friends," this was to become 
an important Quaker event. The slim green volumes of the printed 
lectures, beginning with Rufus Jones's Quakerism, A Religion of 
Life, now fill a sizable shelf and they provide material for numerous 
study groups throughout Quakerdom. Among the authors are those 
friends and colleagues who were closely associated with Rufus Jones 
in establishing the tone and direction of twentieth century Quaker- 
ism: William Charles Braithwaite, Joan Mary Fry, Joshua Rowntree, 
Edward Grubb, L. Violet Hodgkin, T. Edmund Harvey, A. Neave 

After the three months at Charlbury, there was time to visit 
English Friends, attend summer school at Kendal, sit again in the 
twilight at Fountains Abbey, and to talk with men whose minds 
marched with his own. In August the three Joneses went to Switzer- 
land with Arnold Rowntree and Constance Rowntree and her chil- 
dren and Henry Cadbury, and the energetic members of the party 
climbed the Faulhorn, the Lauterhorn, the Monk and the Eiger. All 
of them together read Wilhelm Tell and picked edelweiss and talked 
and remembered John Wilhelm. "Returning one evening to Grindel- 
wald," his daughter writes, "after climbing the Faulhorn, Constance 
Rowntree rushed her children to the balcony of the hotel, while 
Rufus Jones snatched his child from bed and together they saw a 
double rainbow span the entire valley. It may have seemed a useless 
effort, for the youngest two in the group were only three and four 
years old, but the parents hoped that somehow the children might 
share in the majestic beauty of that moment. Years later, these chil- 
dren grown into women and dear friends, discovered that they all 
counted that moment of the double rainbow an earliest memory, a 
flash of beauty from which they dated their beginnings as conscious 

It was a happy and refreshing time, lighted with that special 
buoyancy that accompanies the accomplishment of a heavy task. 
Studies in Mystical Religion was in the hands of Macmillan in 
London and by the time that they sailed for home on the tenth of 
September, a contract had been signed for its publication. 


The Quaker History Begun 

O O 'C' >w< . 'm* fw* <& *w~ ~v <9* 

Otudies in Mystical Religion was published in London in 
the spring of 1909. 

Though it was a large, solid book of more than five hundred 
pages, it did not attempt to be a complete history of Christian 
mysticism. Not only did it not go beyond the rise of Quakerism, but 
the Spanish mystics were omitted and the English mystical poets of 
the seventeenth century. Jacob Boehme was explicitly reserved for 
a later volume. Some of the movements described, such as the 
Waldensian, the Wyclifite and the Anabaptist movements, were not 
strictly mystical but were included because they helped to forward 
religion of an inward type. As it was designed to be an introduction 
to a series of books on the history of Quakerism, the mystics and 
the mystical groups chosen for emphasis were those which formed 
the stream of religious thought and experience out of which Rufus 
Jones believed Quakerism to have arisen in the seventeenth century. 

The three-fold point of view of the philosopher, the psychologist, 
and the historian, combined with the particular coloration of the 
Quaker, becomes evident as the story unfolds. The gift for clear 
and vivid exposition which was Rufus Jones's is manifest even when 
he deals with material that is difficult, abstruse and confusing. His 
images, homely and illuminating, his humor, which flickers in a turn 
of phrase or a realistic observation, his love of poetry and the wide 
reach of his scholarship, are evident once more in this profound but 



eminently readable book. "The author is, probably, a heretic himself," 
commented one reviewer; "but he is, nevertheless, a Christian and a 
man of culture; and his Studies throw light upon Church history 
from an unfamiliar standpoint, which is delightfully illuminating!" 

To the historian no events, even spiritual insights, are independent 
of the period in which they occur. They are in some measure shaped 
by the social or political conditions, the mental climate, the subcon- 
scious currents of their time. Rufus Jones's historical perspective on 
the light that burned in Ireland in the Dark Ages and threw out a 
spark in John Scotus Erigena to kindle new fires in Europe, on the 
changing conditions in the Catholic Church that made the Waldens- 
ians heretics and found a place of honor for the Franciscans a century 
later, on the influence of the Babylonish Captivity of the Popes, and 
of the Great Civil War in the Holy Roman Empire and the Black 
Death on the formation and nature of the small brotherhood groups 
of the fourteenth century, on the Civil War in England which re- 
leased the "noise and flutter of sects and schisms" — to give but a few 
examples — provides a corrective lens that serves to lessen the dis- 
tortions in vision inevitable when twentieth century minds examine 
ninth or twelfth or sixteenth century ideas. 

As a psychologist he was aware of the element of abnormality 
in the mystics and he did not fail to point it out where he saw it. 
"It is true that the great mystics have often possessed peculiar 
psychical constitutions. They have sometimes exhibited the phenomena 
of hysteria, and sometimes they have, beyond question, been patho- 
logical, and have experienced abnormal states due to an unstable 
nervous system. But it is also true that persons possessing such 
psychical constitutions have in unusual ways, and in heightened 
degree, been able to correspond with an environing Reality which 
built up and vitalised their personal lives." 

In later years he was to think that he did not give enough weight 
to this element of abnormality. "I see now," he wrote in 1938, "as I 
did not see in the early period, what a large pathological factor there 
has been in the lives of many mystics in the long historical line." 
Yet it was obvious in Studies in Mystical Religion that he was 
repelled by those psychic phenomena which marked the more extreme 
types of mystics. 

After making allowance for the looser mental organization fre- 
quently seen in genius, he stated unequivocally that visions, auditions, 
automatisms and trances were evidence rather of hysteria than of 


spiritual power. For all his love of St. Francis of Assisi, that "gentle 
revolutionist," he regretted the experience of the Stigmata at La 
Verna. "The modern interpreter, however," he wrote, "unlike the 
medieval disciple, finds this event, if it is admitted, a point of weakness 
rather than a point of strength. Instead of proving to be the marks of 
a saint, the Stigmata are the marks of emotional and physical abnor- 
mality. The 'wonder' which moves us in him is the fresh and living 
fountain of joy and love which Christ opened through him for that 
age of gloom and superstition; not that he had motor automatisms 
of this extraordinary sort." 

This comment on St. Francis stung Evelyn Underhill, an eminently 
sane as well as profound writer on mysticism, to retort: 

"The modern interpreter, says Rufus Jones, finds in the stigmata 
of St. Francis of Assisi a point of weakness rather than a point of 
strength: not the 'marks of a saint' but 'the marks of emotional and 
physical abnormality.' This is a very moderate statement of the 
'rational' position by a writer who is in actual sympathy with certain 
aspects of mysticism. Yet it may well be doubted whether that 
flame of living love which could, for one dazzling instant, weld body 
and soul in one, was really a point of weakness in a saint: whether 
Blake was quite as mad as some of his interpreters, or the powers of 
St. Paul and St. Teresa are fully explained on a basis of epilepsy or 
hysteria: whether, finally, it is as scientific as it looks, to lump together 
all visions and voices — from Wandering Willy to the Apocalypse of 
St. John — as examples of unhealthy cerebral activity." 

On the other hand, he declared, the evidence of an element of auto- 
suggestion in a mystical experience did not prove it to be merely 
psychic. "When we have named these great spiritual crises, which 
carry us up to new levels of life and power and service 'autosug- 
gestive experiences' we have only substituted one word for another. 
We called them 'new births'; we call them 'autosuggestions'! The fact 
remains on our hands, and the fact is a momentous one." 

The terrible austerities of some of the mystics, the hair shirts, 
the self-flagellations, the nail-studded beds, roused in him pity and 
the sense of bafflement natural to one of his healthy, life-loving, 
vigorous nature, but he understood its psychological source. "It was 
felt by the mystic, no doubt, to minister toward the supreme end 
in view, namely beatific vision, and there almost certainly came to 
those who practised asceticism states of intoxication or swoon, in 
which there was a sense of the fulness of life." 


The techniques of the mystics, the stages of Purgation, Illumination 
and Contemplation, the spiritual ladders, which occupy so large a part 
of many books by and about mystics, held little interest for him, 
partly because of their emphasis on ecstasy, which he considered 
a false trail. The "union above thought, above states of consciousness, 
above knowledge," which is ecstasy, is, he says, "the final refuge of 
all negation mysticism." 

Not ecstasy but an enhanced and unified personality and increased 
energy to carry out God's purposes in the world were to him the 
hallmarks of the mystical experience. "The supreme task of spiritual 
religion," he found, "is this positive task of discovering how a man 
like one of us can go up into a vision of God and come back with 
power for the transformation of his human desires, his finite will, and 
his daily activities." 

He traced the course of the immanental and the transcendental 
views of God through the speculative mystics from Plato to Plotinus 
and through Augustine and Dionysius the Areopagite, who pre- 
sented "neo-Platonic philosophy slightly sprinkled with baptismal 
water from a Christian font," to the Catholic mystics of the Middle 

To Plotinus, in this book, he was rather cool. Though he recog- 
nized him as "the profoundest thinker between the flowering period 
of Greek philosophy and the creators of modern philosophy in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries," he considered the neo-Platonism 
of which he was "the master mind" "the last great intellectual effort 
of paganism." His summary of Plotinus's three spheres of being 
is rather stiff and perfunctory, and he held him responsible, because 
of his teaching that the highest stage of truth is ecstasy, for the long 
succession of negative mystics. 

Dean Inge, in the letter which he wrote to Rufus Jones on the pre- 
publication chapter of Studies which he read, commented: 

"I have read your chapter with much interest and have really hardly 
anything to suggest. ... I am less and less inclined to speak con- 
temptuously of the conception of a 'One beyond existence' in spite 
of the errors of the via negativa. If we follow Plotinus carefully up to 
his Ko'6??o3voyTos we find a sphere in which thought and its content/ 
object [the writer did not indicate his choice between the two words] 
are absolutely equivalent — a world which is the complete expression of 
the Divine Nature. But there still remains the subject-object relation 
which is the condition of all existence and the form of all normal ex- 

Rufus M. Jones at twenty-two, in his 
Prince Albert coat 

Rufus Jones's mother, Alary Hoxie Jones, 
about forty 

Peace Jones, about the time of 
Rufus Jones's birth in 1863 

rhe old homestead in South China, in which Rufus Jones was born 
a recent picture) 

Sarah Coutant Jones, at about thirty, taken 
during the years at Oak Grove 

Rufus Jones in 1901, during his year of study 
at Harvard 

Lowell Coutant Jones, nine years old, at 
Providence Friends School 


perience. Logically the quest of the Absolutely One points us beyond 
this, to the super-existent One in whose honor Dionysius coins so many 
strange compounds. Those critics who foolishly talk about Platonic 
'dualism' do not perceive how uncompromisingly monistic the system 
is. And those who talk about 'dreamy cloud-land' etc. etc., do not do 
justice to the fundamental faith of the Neo-Platonist that every specu- 
lative truth of philosophy must have its copy and its justification in 
human experience. Therefore even the Absolute must somehow fall 
within the limits of possible human experience though it be only in the 
rarest moments of ecstasy. One cannot deal with mysticism satis- 
factorily without doing justice to its philosophy, upon which Plotinus 
is the classic authority: and alas! no great thinker has been so per- 
sistently and almost universally misunderstood." 

In 191 8 Dean Inge himself published his own two great volumes on 
the philosophy of Plotinus, and nearly twenty years later Stephen 
Mackenna's two-volume translation of the works of Plotinus appeared. 
There is no doubt that Rufus Jones studied both. His chapter on 
Plotinus in Some Exponents of Mystical Religion, published in 
1930, is markedly warmer, more sympathetic, more complete than the 
treatment in Studies in Mystical Religion. In 1939 in The Flower- 
ing of Mysticism, he spoke of Plotinus as "one of the major intel- 
lectual and spiritual guides of all human history" and "one of the 
world's greatest mystics and ... as Dean Inge called him, 'a prophet 
saint.' " 

The affirmative mysticism which Rufus Jones felt to be the best 
and soundest type was that which stemmed from the mystical element 
in the Christianity of John and Paul and the Acts, when the church 
was "a mystical fellowship, i.e. a fellowship bound together not by ex- 
ternal organization but by the power of the experience of the Divine 
Presence among the members," and when a direct spiritual fellowship 
with Christ was expressed in a daily life of love and service. In trac- 
ing this emphasis through the history of mystical individuals and 
groups, he notes, where they appear, features which were later to mark 
the Quaker movement: the attempt to return to primitive Christianity, 
cases of group mysticism, opposition to ecclesiasticism, refusal of oaths 
and objection to war, an individual sense of social responsibility, a 
characteristic concept of the Light Within. 

The Friends of God, who lived in small, loosely organized com- 
munities that spread from the Low Countries to Bohemia, devoted to 
the contemplative life and to the production of a remarkable body 


of mystical literature, belonged to the fellowship of those who knew 
God directly in their hearts and who carried their love into daily 
life and service. The father of this movement, Meister Eckhart, with 
his lofty mysticism, his active life, his warm interest in people, his in- 
difference to forms, rites and ceremonies, who "in a tumultuous age 
revolting from dry formalism and empty orthodoxy" told his hearers 
that "the God whom they missed in the church they could find in 
their own souls" was especially dear to Rufus Jones. That Eckhart 
was also a source of Hegel's system is not mentioned here but is later 
brought out in The Flowering of Mysticism. 

To this group belonged also the mysterious Friend of God from 
the Oberland, who was probably Rulman Merswin and of whom 
Rufus Jones's account was for some twenty-five years the only one in 
English, and Heinrich Suso and Johannes Tauler. "We cannot expect 
a devout Catholic of the fourteenth century to enter fully into the 
spirit of service which is the very breath of our best modern Chris- 
tianity but Tauler often rises to an insight which carried him far be- 
yond contemplation and joy in inward states however exalted. 'Works 
of love,' he says, 'are more acceptable than contemplation.' " 

The Theologia Germanica, written by an anonymous member of 
this band, one of the classical books of mystical literature, contains that 
great statement of consecration to service: "I would fain be to the 
Eternal Goodness as his own hand is to a man." The author's philoso- 
phy was medieval and scholastic and he tended too much toward self- 
annihilation, but "it is interesting to note that this Friend of God in 
the fourteenth century used the term 'Light' almost precisely as the 
Friends of the seventeenth century did." 

Jan Ruysbroeck, "one of the rarest souls in the goodly fellowship 
of mystical teachers," who had "little patience with those who sit idly, 
'with introverted eyes' waiting for a formless vision" was the link 
between the Friends of God and the Brethren of the Common Life, 
who included also in their number Gerard Groote and Thomas a 
Kempis. The Brethren were laymen, their way of life was simple and 
their emphasis was on practice. They lived in brotherhood houses, sup- 
porting themselves by copying the Bible and other holy books, they 
offered free and practical education, aimed at the formation of good 
lives, to the common people of their communities. They anticipated 
George Fox in their disregard of theological degrees. Of the Imitation 
of Christ, which Rufus Jones ascribed here to Thomas a Kempis but 
in his later books to Gerard Groote, he says: "Next to Dante's 'miracle 


of song' [it] is the most perfect flower of medieval Christianity." "If 
one is seeking for a monistic view that does full justice to the concrete 
facts of experience he will not go to a Kempis for it." 

In the Lollards of pre-Reformation England Rufus Jones found 
not only the actual physical ancestors of the Quakers — Fox and other 
founders were "of the stock of martyrs" (i.e., Lollard martyrs) — 
but certain convictions which were also Friends testimonies: "that 
'God made not priests'; that man and not 'stonen houses with glasen 
windows' is the true divine temple; that the simplest person may go 
directly to the Head of the Church." Possessing also a strong social 
spirit, they stood for concern for the poor, simple garb, plain speech, 
refusal of swearing, and avoidance of war. 

Other groups yet closer to Quakerism were the Anabaptists, who 
broke forth simultaneously with the Reformation, "determined to re- 
construct Christianity after the New Testament model," and who after 
appalling persecution in Holland made their way secretly to England; 
The Family of Love, who opposed oaths, war, and capital punishment 
and testified to the unimportance of outward forms in comparison with 
inward experience, and so far as they could put the Sermon on the 
Mount into practice; and the Seekers, many of whom actually became 
Quakers. John Saltmarsh, who died in 1647 and whose "Sparkles of 
Glory" parallels many of Fox's ideas, William Dell, Gerard Win- 
stanley, and others "are of a totally different type from the mystics 
who follow the negative path in a passionate search for the Divine 
Dark. They are primarily of the practical temper that belongs to the 
English character, and they introduce us to the new social spirit which 
is the very 'hall mark' of the Quaker Fellowship, which will be studied 
in the succeeding volume." 

Studies in Mystical Religion appeared at a time when there was 
a rising interest in the subject. Dean Inge had published three books 
on Christian mysticism, the third of which, Personal Idealism and 
Mysticism, appeared in 1907. R. H. Benson, A. W. Waite, and Henri 
Delacroix, whose Etude D'Histoire et de Psychologie du Mysticism 
Rufus Jones quoted frequently, had all published books in the two 
previous years. Baron Friedrich von Hiigel's monumental Mystical 
Element in Religion appeared in 1908, but evidently too late for 
Rufus Jones to draw upon it. Evelyn Underbill's Mysticism was to ap- 
pear in 191 1. With his Studies Rufus Jones took his place as one of 
the foremost writers on mysticism, to be classed in the ensuing years 
with Dean Inge, Von Hiigel, and Evelyn Underhill. "We all three 


were working independently of one another and without knowing 
that anyone else was engaged in the undertaking," he wrote in 1943, 
"we produced our results almost simultaneously . . . We became 
intimate friends through our work." 

Though some reviewers dissented sharply from his point of view 
on the sacraments and institutional religion, the majority praised the 
book and all took it seriously as a major contribution to the subject. 
"No small part of the value of the book is the beautiful spirit of the 
author that breathes through it," wrote T. Rhondda Williams in the 
Christian CojTtmonwealth, and G. K. Chesterton, in the London Daily 
News, observed with some surprise, "This very valuable book is in 
substance something like a rebuke of the medieval church, not for be- 
ing too mystical but for not being mystical enough." 


"The Spiritual Reformers" 

^i ri$i ■ ^ r^> . ^> r^» <^i 

W illiam James died in August, 1910. Rufus Jones, in England 
at the time for another conference on the Quaker History, wrote an 
"Editorial Letter" to The American Friend, in which he spoke of his 
debt to James, his personal affection for him, and the "loss to the 
entire race" which he felt his death to be. Several weeks later he was 
deeply touched to receive a letter from Alice James, in which she 

"Many voices have been raised in affectionate memory of a man 
who truly loved his kind, but no one has spoken more justly or with 
finer appreciation than yourself. I should like to read it to my dear 
husband, who counted himself so lightly — and yet how he honored 
his work and loved it!" 

Rufus Jones's debt to William James was due in great part to Princi- 
ples of Psychology, which "opened a new world" to him when he 
read it lying on the grass under the trees at Oak Grove in the summer 
of 1890. "I have read it and reread it," he wrote, "and have taught it 
to class after class until it has become an indissoluble part of my life. 
It has illuminated every aspect of the inner life and brought meaning 
and significance to all the deeper issues of the human spirit ... I have 
seen an entire class hushed with a solemn awe under the moral power 
of his wonderful chapter on Habit and I believe that nobody in our 
time has uttered a more unescapable and unanswerable moral message 
than his in this chapter." 

Quakers in the American Colonies, published in 191 1, was the 



work of three people. Amelia M. Gummere, author of A Study in 
Quaker Costume and editor of John Woodman's Journal, wrote the 
section on New Jersey, with emphasis on John Woolman. The section 
on Pennsylvania was written by Isaac Sharpless, who in addition to 
being president of Haverford was the author of A Quaker Experi- 
ment in Government. Of Isaac Sharpless's historical work Rufus 
Jones said that it "did not reveal the finished historical scholar though 
it was very good amateur work and distinctly worth doing . . . But 
wisdom," he added, "is quite another matter. There are many exact 
scholars who speak with academic authority but who, nevertheless, 
are quite barren of wisdom . . . He emerged with wisdom, with in- 
sight." The sections on New England and the Southern Colonies 
Rufus Jones wrote himself, as well as a brilliantly perceptive and com- 
prehensive introduction to the whole. For his research he read every 
one of the numerous Friends' Journals of the period and he had an 
examination made of meeting records. 

In spite of his attempt to unify it the book suffered from the fact 
that it was the work of three, not one. It lacked the cohesive power 
of a single point of view and of a single style. The other two parts 
suffered by comparison with Rufus Jones's vivid clarity and ease of 
expression. Today it has been rendered incomplete by the mass of 
new material which has come to light. 

As soon as the 191 1 spring term at Haverford was over, Rufus and 
Elizabeth Jones and Mary set off for Europe to do research on the 
second volume on the forerunners of Quakerism. They went directly 
to Italy and spent nearly three weeks in Rome and Florence. In Rome 
six-year-old Mary proved to be a well-informed sightseer and an 
open-minded Quaker. "Each church has something of which she 
knows something," wrote her mother, "and the people are interesting 
to watch. She is practising the semi-kneeling as you pass in front of 
altars, etc. Also crossing with holy water, etc." She even led her 
Quaker parents up the Holy Stairs on their knees. 

Rufus Jones wrote from Florence to Violet Hodgkin: "I have just 
come from St. Maria Novella where I have been enjoying the Spanish 
Chapel in the Cloister, especially the result of the Descent of the 
Holy Ghost — namely the mighty march of truth embodied in Thomas 
Aquinas; and on other side the work of the church militant and the 
glory of the church triumphant. Philosophy is luminous, calm, stately. 
The militant work of the church is confused — some are rapturously 
praying, while in among them others are setting dogs on heretics and 
there is an evident mixture of ecstatic worship and worldy affairs while 


the calm, triumphant and luminous faces are only above in the realm 
of the Urbs Sion Mystica. This is all very true of the militant church 
in any age and in any branch of its many divisions. It does take endless 
patience to put up with the bursts and curves, the halts and the bicker- 
ings, but somehow God's strange army does get on and occasionally 
at least a small devil gets beaten." 

They spent two months in Marburg, where he studied the German 
Protestants and mystics, especially Jacob Boehme, Hans Denck, Sebas- 
tian Franck, Caspar Schwenkfeld. 

In February of the previous year Rufus Jones had had an enthusiastic 
letter from a pastor in the little village of Schweinsberg, Germany, 
who had read his Studies in Mystical Religion. Herr Theodor Sippell 
was himself a student of the Quaker forerunners and had come to the 
same conclusions that Rufus Jones had. Now he found his discoveries 
about John Saltmarsh, William Dell and Gerald Winstanley anticipated 
by Rufus Jones. He asked to be taken into the circle of scholars who 
sought to investigate the origins of Quakerism "as a modest fellow 

A stimulating and friendly correspondence ensued between the two 
scholars, who found themselves explorers in an almost untouched 
field. Herr Sippell sent Rufus Jones an article of his on the Dutch 
Collegiants, whom he considered identical with the Seekers. He was 
eager to go to England and Holland that summer to pursue the subject 
further. Could he get Rowntree Trust aid? 

It was arranged for him to make the trip to London, and the two 
met there in August, 19 10, when Rufus Jones went over for the 
conference on the Quaker History. Herr Sippell now at eight-five 
in his study in Marburg likes to recall that meeting. It was after talking 
to him, he told the present writer, that Rufus Jones came to the con- 
clusion that Boehme was actually not so close to the early Quakers as 
Caspar Schwenkfeld and Sebastian Franck and decided to broaden his 
book to take in all the Spiritual Reformers instead of concentrating 
upon Boehme. His work on the Westmoreland Seekers had convinced 
Rufus Jones, Pastor Sippell said, that they were imbued with 
Schwenkfeld ideas and had passed them on to George Fox. 

As a result of that meeting Pastor Sippell was employed to collect 
material for Rufus Jones to use in the prepartion of his next book on 
the mystics, and a plan was made for them to work together in Mar- 
burg in the summer of 191 1. Herr Sippell himself would concentrate 
on Roger Williams and leave the Seekers for Rufus Jones. 

When the Joneses reached Marburg, "a pleasant dwelling" awaited 


them. Herr Sippell's uncle, Herr Happich, the pastor of the Pfaar- 
kirche and superintendent of all the Lutheran churches of Hesse, lived 
near the top of the castle hill in what was called the oldest house 
in Marburg because a part of a twelfth century building, a round 
tower with small cryptic faces in the wall, had been incorporated with 
it. Here the Joneses boarded during the months they were in Marburg, 
occupying two bedrooms and a sitting-room on the second floor. From 
their windows they had a beautiful view of the city, the valley of the 
Lahn and the surrounding hills. Above them towered the Castle and 
the Marienkirche, of which Herr Happich was pastor; a little below 
was the slender spire of the church of the Kugelherren, the Brethren 
of the Common Life. The pfarrerhaus itself had a small walled garden 
with apple trees, lilac bushes, old-fashioned flowers, and a tiny sum- 
mer house perched on a shelf in the steep hill. 

Between the Happich family, the pastor and his wife and their 
fifteen-year-old daughter Hanna, and the Joneses, a friendship de- 
veloped that survived two wars. "There was a striking saintly quality 
in this fine scholar and preacher," wrote Rufus Jones, "and his wife 
possessed a refined and beautiful spirit. Our life with them was an 
unalloyed satisfaction and has always been a happy memory." There 
was but one flaw to mar that happiness: Herr Happich saw war coming 
and his attitude toward it was that of German militarism. 

The city of Marburg itself had great interest for Rufus Jones, as- 
sociated as it was with St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who was buried in 
the beautiful thirteenth century church built on the site of her 
hospital; with the Brethren of the Common Life, whose church had 
become the Roman Catholic parish church; and with Martin Luther. 
In the fifteenth century castle that dominated the town from the top 
of the craggy hill, Luther and Zwingli met to discuss and to disagree on 
the doctrine of transubstantiation and so to cause "the first great 
split in the Evangelical Christian Church, a habit, which," commented 
Rufus Jones ruefully, "has ever since gone on growing." 

Arrangements had been made through Herr Sippell by which the 
books which Rufus Jones needed to examine were sent from libraries 
all over Germany to Marburg, where he could work over them at his 
leisure. Herr Sippell came often to Marburg to work with him and 
between visits letters flew back and forth between the two. Elizabeth 
Jones's knowledge of German was again of great assistance to her 
husband, and she spent many hours translating the difficult Old German 


While in Marburg Rufus Jones also attended lectures on Ethics 
given by Professor Wilhelm Herrmann in the University of Marburg, 
which, founded in 1527, was Germany's first Protestant university. 
In 1925 it would confer upon Rufus Jones the honorary degree of 
Doctor of Sacred Theology, when the war which Herr Happich 
had foreseen was over and the children of defeated Germany had been 
fed by an American Quaker organization of which Rufus Jones was 
founder and chairman. 

Rudolf Otto, the author of The Idea of the Holy, who was living 
in Marburg at that time, also proved to be a congenial friend, and 
in 1939 Rufus Jones dedicated his Flowering of Mysticism to the 
memory of Rudolf Otto as "friend and helper." 

In August Rufus Jones went to Switzerland for a fortnight of 
climbing, and out of that came an experience which he was to use in 
talks and books to illustrate a truth of life. "I came once up the 
Engelberg Valley in Switzerland to a place which the natives call 
the End of the World — das End der Welt. A huge mountain closes 
the pass, the road stops abruptly and no one can go on there. It is a 
terminus. I stayed in a little inn there at the End of the World. How 
often in life the gateway shuts, a semaphore drops in front of us, the 
way closes. We have come to a terminus. The next day, however, I 
found a zigzag path farther down the valley that went up the side of 
the mountain. I climbed up and up and went on over the End 
of the World. There is always, if one can find it, a way higher up that 
goes over these closed ways which confront us." 

Elizabeth Jones's fortieth birthday occurred while he was in 
Engelberg and he wrote to her after the birthday wishes: "I am not 
easy to live with and there are strange curves in my nature, but the 
heart and centre are sound, I believe, and I know that beyond all 
things on earth I want to be good. I am all the time conscious of a 
much better and more efficient man than has come to light and capable 
of better things than have been realized. Perhaps the truer person 
may break through at last. I hope so." The following day, he wrote, 
"I believe more and more that the greatest single help to a spiritual 
life is a deep and living human love for another." 

On the way home after leaving Marburg, Rufus Jones attended and 
addressed a "remarkable" Young Friends Conference at Swanwick, 
England. There he found the Young Friends concerned, like Herr 
Happich, with the war that they saw looming ahead, and with their 
attitude toward it. "What struck me most forcibly," he said, "was 


the almost unanimous resolve of that group that under no circum- 
stances would they have any part in a coming war, nor would they 
make any compromise with military demands upon them." 

One of the young Friends who was there, John Hoyland, looked 
back in 1957 shortly before his death upon the effect of Rufus Jones's 
presence in that conference. The illumination and the dedication 
which they saw in him welded them together, he said, and prepared 
them for the tests of the war. "To a whole generation of us he was 
a prophet and a saint and a shining light. We loved him and we ven- 
erated him. He was the leader of our lives. His writing was secondary. 
It was his personality, his outgoing love, his humor, his geniality, his 
luminousness. The Holy Spirit was in him to his finger tips. He made 
each one of us feel worth while and that he saw something in us and 
loved us individually. He had an extraordinary gift for creative 
friendship. However American Friends felt about him it was nothing 
to what English Friends felt." 

Still another trip, two years later, was necessary before Spiritual 
Reformers was to be ready for publication. He went alone to England 
for three weeks in the summer of 191 3, to make a final check on ref- 
erences at the British Museum. He took with him for ship-board read- 
ing, Rewards and Fairies, Sherlock Holmes, Ward's Realm of 
Ends, and Following the Star, by the author of The Rosary. His 
reading throughout his life was extensive, continual, and catholic. The 
last day at sea, he wrote to his wife: "Thee may not know it, but 
my own love has been steadily growing riper and richer as our years 
together go by, and I have felt all the voyage how much I missed 

While in London, he was lent Arnold Rowntree's suite of rooms in 
St. James's Court, where he lived in somewhat lonely state, with a 
manservant in attendance. "I am very comfortable here, only lone- 
some ... I have most of my meals in restaurants or in the Authors' 
Club where at least I can see other eaters eat!" As so many years ago, 
he and his cousin Charles Jacob were abroad at the same time. "I had 
Charles and Hattie Jacob for dinner and for the evening. They came 
at 7 and my elegant slave served us an excellent dinner in the sitting- 

As soon as he had finished his work at the Museum, he was off to 
Wales for four days of relaxation at Sir George Newman's "Huts" in 
Anglesey. His old friend, George Newman, had been knighted two 
years before for his work as director of the medical department of 
the Board of Education. 


"Here I am," he wrote, "in Sir George's Huts in a perfectly 
glorious spot, on a sea-bluff looking south into the sweep of the 
Atlantic, on the east taking in the entire range of Welch [sic] moun- 
tains sixty miles long and west across to Holy Island, which rises 
high over the rather flat fields of Western Anglesey. This is very wild 
country with beautiful heather, bracken and yellow wild flowers." 
The group consisted of those well-loved old friends, William Charles 
Braithwaite, the Newmans, and Arnold Rowntree, with the addition 
of three or four new acquaintances — "a perfectly jolly crowd." 
They spent the days swimming, walking, rowing, "living the simple 
life de luxe," and hearing Rufus Jones read Walt Whitman in the 
evenings. W. C. Braithwaite wrote a poem every day and a drama in 
which Rufus Jones figured as "The Prophet — Our Haverfordian 

The four friends met again at Scalby, with Joseph Rowntree, Ed- 
ward Grubb and Ernest E. Taylor, for a conference on the History, 
which became a conference on Quaker periodicals and reached a 
decision which will be discussed later. 

From there Rufus Jones went to Reading for a summer school. "I 
must say," he wrote to Elizabeth Jones, "I dread Reading. I do not 
have quite the old time enthusiasm and abandon for S.S.'s" — and what 
could be more natural, after active participation in at least seventeen 
in thirteen years! At Reading, however, he had the joy of meeting 
again Philip Wicksteed, who was lecturing on Wordsworth. Rufus 
Jones himself spoke on the Spiritual Reformers, as he had done earlier 
in the year at Hartford Theological Seminary, when he gave the 
Carew Lectures. 

He sent the proofs of his new book to Herr Sippell that fall, and the 
pastor responded warmly, "Your book marks a great scholarly ad- 
vance over the presentations hitherto." Although as a "pretty rabid 
Lutheran" he differed from Rufus Jones in fundamental attitudes, 
he derived keen joy and rich profit from the book. He himself was 
now turning to the study of Methodism. 

Spiritual Reformers of the i6th and 17TH Centuries made its 
appearance in London in 19 14, the second of the historical series in 
chronological order but fourth in the order of publication. W. C. 
Braithwaite's The Beginnings of Quakerism having appeared in 19 12, 
with a brilliant introduction by Rufus Jones. Four chapters sufficed 
for Boehme in the finished book, which dealt with a host of others 
besides, many of whom had been neglected or forgotten or about 
whom little or nothing was available in English. 


He began with Hans Denck, who, influenced both by medieval 
mysticism and by the new humanism of Erasmus, conceived a fresh 
and unique type of Christianity, the practicers of which in the early 
sixteenth century were called "spirituals" or "enthusiasts." He ended 
with the seventeenth century English poets, Francis Quarles, Thomas 
Traherne, Henry Vaughan, and George Herbert, because though 
"poets are not Reformers" they "are always among the first to feel 
the direction of spiritual currents and they are very sure voices of the 
deeper hopes and aspirations of their epoch." In between comes a suc- 
cession of saints, prophets, geniuses and cranks, most of them isolated 
figures or trailed by small and dwindling bands of followers, who 
nevertheless had a message of truth to deliver and who faithfully de- 
livered it, often at a cost of pain and danger and sacrifice. They find 
their place in this book because their ideas were related to the ideas 
of the early Quakers. "The Quakers of the seventeenth century are 
obviously one of the great historical results of this slowly maturing 
spiritual movement, and they first gave the unorganized and inarticu- 
late movement a concrete body and organism to express itself 
through." The Spiritual Reformers, Rufus Jones called them, because 
they were in a sense the product of the Reformation, though they 
were soon disappointed by it and they broke with its theology. 

They discarded the prevailing ideas of the Atonement as the sacrifice 
of Christ to the wrath of God, and looked on salvation instead as a 
personal relationship with a God of love, followed by a transformation 
of life. They abandoned the idea of Heaven and Hell as permanent 
places of reward and punishment, seeing them as "inward conditions, 
states of the soul, the normal gravitation of the Spirit towards its 
chosen center." They believed in free will. The Church was for them 
a fellowship, "the living body of Christ in the world." Divine revela- 
tion did not end in the New Testament, but continued. Religion im- 
plied also social and economic reforms, so that the common people 
might develop their potentialities as persons. 

The exact connection of the Spiritual Reformers with Quakerism 
is not easy to spell out definitively. They preceded it, some of them 
were contemporaneous with its beginnings, their ideas were "in the 
air" of the seventeenth century, but did the early Friends read their 
books, is there evidence of a direct and unmistakable line of influence? 
Rufus Jones thought that there was. Translations of Boehme's books 
were available in England between 1647 and 1661, the formative 
years of George Fox. Fox was no reader, but other early Friends 


and Seekers who became Friends or influenced them, such as Thomas 
Taylor, were readers and aware of theological literature. Fox in his 
writings makes no specific mention of "Behmen," as he was called, 
but there is a significant number of passages in his Journal that 
parallel or suggest passages in Boehme's writings. William Penn and 
John Bellers both highly recommended the sermons of John Everard, 
through whom the writings of Hans Denck, Sebastian Franck and the 
Theologia Germanica came to England. The similarity of the funda- 
mental Quaker position with that of the Spiritual Reformers is, Rufus 
Jones says, perfectly clear. "Quakerism is, thus, no isolated or sporadic 
religious phenomenon. It is deeply rooted and embedded in a far 
wider movement that had been accumulating depth and power for 
more than a century before George Fox became a 'prophet' of it to 
the English people." 

More recent scholarship tends to differ with these conclusions. 
Geoffrey F. Nuttall in his scholarly and interesting book, The Holy 
Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience, which has exerted a strong 
influence on some of the younger Quaker historians and theologians, 
declares that early Quakerism was an outgrowth of radical Puritanism 
rather than of the mystical movements of the continent. He notes that 
Schwenkfeld, Denck, Franck and Coornhert preceded Puritanism 
and in some cases anticipated radical Puritanism, but "any direct in- 
fluence," he says, "is far to seek." He does not, however, make any 
attempt to trace the influences bearing on Puritanism or to discuss the 
reasons for the wide differences between radical Puritans and conserva- 
tive Puritans such as the Presbyterians. The fundamental Quaker 
doctrine, "that the Holy Spirit indwells all men, the converted com- 
pletely and the unconverted incompletely" — or, in Fox's familiar 
words, "that of God in every man" — he sees as wholly outside of 
Puritan thought. Furthermore, the Quaker stand on the Bible, the lay 
ministry, the sacraments, oaths and war, which came out of their 
primary doctrine, was closer to the practice and writings of the Spirit- 
ual Reformers than to that of the Puritans and was responsible for 
much of the Puritan fury against them. 

In any case, whether the connection between Quakerism and the 
Spiritual Reformers was tenuous or strong, there can be no doubt of 
the service which Rufus Jones rendered to the history of religious 
thought, both in retelling and reinterpreting the story of long-ne- 
glected mystics and spiritual geniuses and in showing that Quakerism 
was not an isolated phenomenon but part of a religious movement. 


The book was published early in 19 14. Shailer Mathews, dean of 
the University of Chicago Divinity School, wrote, "I regard it as 
one of the best pieces of historical theological work that America 
has put out for this generation." Thirty-one years later Rufus Jones 
received a letter from Aldous Huxley which showed that the book 
had held its place: "May I take this opportunity to thank you for 
the much profit I have derived from your books — above all the Spirit- 
ual Reformers, which introduced me to a world of men and thoughts, 
about whom and which I was totally ignorant until I read the fruit of 
your researches." 


The End of an Era 

It is necessary now to go back two years, to 191 2, when the third 
Five Years Meeting was held at Indianapolis, and Rufus Jones's 
labor for The American Frie?id came to an end. 

During the summer before the meeting two of his best loved 
English friends, Arnold Rowntree and Sir George Newman, made a 
visit to Canada to investigate possibilities for emigration for Adult 
School members. Rufus Jones met them in Montreal and they all went 
directly to Lake Louise for ten days of climbing, walking, and talk- 
ing in the Canadian Rockies. There they met by chance Francis Wyle, 
secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Commission, and William Adams 
Brown of the Union Theological Seminary. "On Fairview we met 
Professor Brown of the N. Y. Theological Seminary," wrote Arnold 
Rowntree in his journal letter home, "a colleague of Professor Mc- 
Giffert's, and the meeting between him and Rufus was quite touch- 
ing. He knew all Rufus's books, had been wanting to come in touch 
with him for 20 years, so there was great joy in finding each other. 
The discussions on education amongst the three wise men of the 
party have been to me most interesting and instructive." 

They "walked over the mountains from Field into the Yoho Valley, 
explored it from end to end and climbed back over the mountains 
to that glorious spot, Emerald Lake." Rufus Jones described it years 
later. ". . . We lived thrillingly and dangerously on that memorable 
journey and we came back with the great Northwest built into our 



imaginations and with its air in our lungs and some of its rugged 
strength in our fiber." 

Back in London afterwards, remembering those days of fellowship, 
George Newman wrote nostalgically, "Dear professor and philosopher 
and friend, we miss thee greatly." 

In October Rufus Jones met William C. Braithwaite and his wife 
at Broad Street Station in Philadelphia and they travelled to Indiana 
with Isaac Sharpless, "Master Thomas" Brown of Westtown School, 
James Wood and his son Hollingsworth, and Henry Scattergood, a 
member of the boards of both Bryn Mawr and Haverford, who with 
Isaac Sharpless was to attend the Five Years Meeting as a "fraternal 
delegate" from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox). 

At one of the sessions in the First Friends Church in Indianapolis 
Rufus Jones gave the Social Service Report. "It needs no special plead- 
ing," he said, "to show that social service is an inherent part of our 
heritage from the past, but it is just as obvoius . . . that we as a re- 
ligious people are not awake to the call of this age for spiritual light 
and leading in the solution of the great social and economic problems 
that confront us . . . For the most part Friends have not yet caught 
the vision nor have they prepared themselves for what is to be one 
of the most impressive undertakings of the Twentieth Century, the 
conquest of unnecessary disease, the banishment of unnecessary pov- 
erty, the transformation of environments which breed and foster 
disease and sin, the spiritualizing of both capital and labor and the 
recovery of faith in the actual coming of the Kingdom of God in 
the world." The report fired the enthusiasm of the meeting and 
struck a deep note of unity. 

The most important action, for Rufus Jones personally, which the 
Meeting took, was the releasing of him from all connection with The 
American Friend. For the last five years his assistant, Herman New- 
man, had been the actual editor and his own part had been that of 
"editorial adviser," which involved the writing of editorials and a 
determining voice on policy. Now he was free entirely from a 
twenty-year-old burden which had grown too heavy. Henceforth 
The American Friend would be an organ of the Five Years Meeting, 
published from Richmond, Indiana. The Evangelical Friend would 
cease to be a rival weekly and would become a monthly. 

"I have always thought of Quakerism as essentially a movement," 
wrote Rufus Jones in his last "Editorial Letter," "and with that view 
I could never have accepted any position in which I was expected 


to repeat the pious phrases of the past or merely to restate the safe 
positions which dead heroes had won. My central purpose — however 
it may have failed in achievement — has always been to fight the 
spiritual battles of the present age, to win the new territory that is 
here and now to be conquered and to widen the area of light." - 

He had presented over and over fresh interpretations of the old 
themes of atonement and salvation, had written on the nature of man 
and the "perfect union of the divine and human nature of Christ," 
on education, personality, immortality, love, the ministry, temper- 
ance, Quakerism new and old. He had delighted the children from 
time to time with Bible stories bearing such winning titles as, "The 
Story of a Boy who Became a Great Leader," "The Story of a Great 
Boat," "The Story of a Great Rain and Rainbow," which were pub- 
lished in book form in 191 1 under the title Stories of Hebrew Heroes. 

He had had much praise but also much misunderstanding and 
criticism. Only a few months earlier a California reader had written 
to cancel his subscription, declaring, "I have been a subscriber for 
your paper and those that have stood in its line almost continuously 
since 1870. But when you published that scandal on Isaac and Rebekah 
I thought it was about time for me to quit." Later, looking back on 
the barrage of criticism, he saw in it not only a discipline for humility, 
but other values as well: "They taught me how multiform human 
minds are, how varied are human needs, and how important it is to 
respect the heart-beat of the man who does not belong to one's own 
school of thought." 

Happy as he was to be relieved of The American Friend, he was 
less than a year later deeply involved in another Friends' journal — the 
reincarnation of John Wilhelm Rowntree's Present Day Papers. 

It arose out of the 191 3 conference on the Quaker History. Edward 
Grubb, editor of the monthly British Friend, felt that the time had 
come to lay it down. Many people were dissatisfied with The American 
Friend since Rufus Jones had withdrawn from it. One reader, who 
represented a body of opinion, had written to him, "We are tired 
of doing without thy paper already. If thee can't write for the new- 
fangled paper, why not start another?" Quakerism in America, Rufus 
Jones, felt, was in a very critical condition. The great spiritual center 
of Quakerism, he reported to the group at Scalby, was Philadelphia, 
with four thousand Friends so severed from the larger body of 
Friends that it was difficult for it to do what needed to be done. 

In view of all these considerations, it was decided to start a new, 


international Quaker monthly, with the two objects of carrying for- 
ward the spiritual concerns of Friends and of "speaking the Quaker 
message without denominational label." Rufus Jones would be editor, 
with a staff of co-editors in England and Henry J. Cadbury as his 
assistant. His wife's younger brother was now an instructor at Haver- 
ford College, and his brilliant mind, keen humor and sweet spirit, as 
well as his Biblical scholarship and his interest in Quaker history, made 
him increasingly congenial to Rufus Jones. 

He went to work at once. "I have been overloaded ever since my 
return last summer," he wrote to Violet Hodgkin on New Year's 
Day, 1 9 14, "having had the work of starting the new paper and of 
carrying my new volume [Spiritual Reformers], through the press 
in addition to my college work." 

The first issue, by a prodigious effort, appeared in January, 19 14, 
bearing the title: Present Day Papers: "A monthly Journal for the 
Presentation of Vital and Spiritual Christianity." It contained Opening 
Words by the editor, an editorial entitled, "Is Belief in the Personality 
of God Necessary for Religion?", a section of Notes and Comments 
(by the editor), articles by Isaac Sharpless and Joan M. Fry, a long 
review of James Royce's The Problem of Christianity (by the 
editor), other reviews by George Barton, and a report on missions 
in Africa by Edward Grubb. 

Letters from England were prompt in arriving. Some thought the 
cover "dull"; some thought the contents too "intellectual," though 
Joan Fry wrote that she did not believe in "too much pap." Evelyn 
Underhill called it "splendid. . . . exactly what is wanted," but it was 
generally agreed that it lacked variety. In the United States it was 
received with more enthusiasm. 

The difficulties of international publication were obvious, and after 
the outbreak of the War in 19 14 became insuperable. Publication 
ceased with the December issue in 191 5, and there was general grief, 
even from those who had criticized it. To Violet Hodgkin it had 
seemed "increasingly helpful and to fill a growingly useful place." 

Though it had been difficult to get enough articles by English and 
American Friends of sufficiently broad caliber to supply the variety 
which readers desired, Rufus Jones himself had poured some of his 
best writing into the editorials. In 19 16 a number of them were 
gathered into a little volume called The Inner Life, which takes its 
place in the long list of Rufus Jones's inspirational books. If Harry 
Emerson Fosdick's anthology, Rufus Jones Speaks to Our Time, be 


taken as a sort of measuring stick, The Inner Life ranks high on the 
list, for only one other book, Pathways to the Reality of God, is 
quoted more frequently. Excerpts from it help to answer the ques- 
tions: "Where is God?" "How Does God Reveal Himself?" "How 
Explain Conscience?" "What is Vital Religion?" "What is True 
Mysticism?" "What Does Prayer Mean?" "What is the Matter with 
the Church?" and "What is the Christian Way of Life?" 

Rufus Jones had his fiftieth birthday on the 25th of January in 191 3. 
It was the only one, he wrote in The Trail of Life in the Middle 
Years, that ever depressed him. He felt that time was running out, and 
that he had not yet begun to do the particular work for which he had 
come into the world. "I always knew that the goal of life was not 
talking or thinking or writing, but being and doing" 

A great change was coming into his life, though there were still 
only surface indications of it. The laying down of the burden of The 
American Friend was part of the preparation, freeing his hands for 
other tasks. He had begun also to move out into the world beyond 
Quakerism, to be known and loved by numbers of people who knew 
little or nothing of the Society of Friends. The Carew Lectures which 
he had given at Hartford were the first in a succession of such lecture- 
ships which he would hold at institutions all over the country. In 19 14 
he was appointed for the first time to the Board of Preachers to 
Harvard University. After some hesitation he accepted. He was 
accustomed to preaching to college students, but in the Quaker way, 
rising out of a silent meeting to deliver a message but under no com- 
pulsion to speak unless he was moved. To commit himself in advance 
to a sermon at a particular time seemed to violate his Quaker principles. 
In the end he accepted for one semester. 

Each of the Harvard preachers delivered two Sunday sermons and 
conducted morning prayers for a period of two weeks in each half 
year. Rufus Jones, with his humor and warmth, his Maine twang, his 
utter reality and the cogency of his thought, had no difficulty in hold- 
ing the attention of the students. He was many times invited to be a 
Harvard preacher, and he always enjoyed the time spent in Cambridge, 
the interviews with the students and the renewal of friendships with 
the faculty, but it was twenty-nine years before he could say, "I have 
to a large extent got over my fear of a Harvard audience." 

During this period he was chairman of the Social Service Com- 
mission of the Interchurch Federation of Philadelphia, which con- 
cerned itself with problems of wages, housing, immigration and so on. 


The Overseers of Haverford Meeting in November, 19 14, wrote him 
a letter expressing the love and appreciation of the Meeting for him 
and his services. "As we think of thy unselfish sharing of those 
burdens," they wrote, "we look upon thee as our very own and often 
wish that thy membership might be where such a large part of thy 
life and work are." This was an outer expression of a condition that had 
some years ago come to pass: Philadelphia Quakerdom had taken 
Rufus Jones to its very heart. He did not, however, accept the implied 
invitation to transfer his membership from South China to Haverford 
Monthly Meeting. He felt himself still an essential part of the Five 
Years Meeting, which he had done so much to create. 

The outbreak of World War I brought the end of an era. It cut 
Rufus Jones's life into two distinct parts. 

It is difficult for generations that have come to maturity since 1914 
to realize fully the impact of horror and betrayal which the war made 
upon people's minds. A few here and there, it is true, had seen it com- 
ing, had realized that, as Rufus Jones wrote, "Beneath all overt acts 
and decisions the immense subconscious forces, charged with emotion, 
have been slowly pushing toward this event." To most people, how- 
ever, the world had entered upon a period of inevitable upward 
progress and war had been relegated to a dark age of barbarism now 
happily past. The only enemies to be slain were poverty and ignorance. 
Germany was an enlightened and cultured country immensely to be 
admired and so far as possible imitated. The disillusion that resulted 
when the German divisions rolled over Belgium and the treaty of 
friendship was tossed aside as a "scrap of paper," was swift and bitter. 
Not only the goodness of God became a matter for agonizing question 
but the very possibility of His existence in a world such as this had 
demonstrated itself to be. Theories of the upward march of humanity 
were seen as false and flimsy in the lurid light of man's capacity for 

To Rufus Jones the war was not so much of a surprise as it was to 
many. He had heard Herr Happich talk in Germany and had listened 
to discussions among young Friends in England in 191 1. It was never- 
theless a shock — a "terrific jolt" he called it in The Trail of Life in 
the Middle Years — and a deep sorrow. The optimism, both innate and 
resolute, with which he faced life kept him from despair. "We must 
not let our cable slip in this storm," he wrote in Present Day Papers. 
"The supreme faiths of humanity have always had their births and 
their baptisms in baffling mysteries and in the deeps of tragedy and 


suffering." He was nevertheless like a man who has received a severe 
blow and for a time walks on without knowing the gravity of his 

The problems that the war brought to English Friends, the poignant 
and thorny dilemmas of the pacifist whose loyalty is torn between 
love of country and obedience to his intuition of the will of God, 
troubled him deeply and he longed to find some way to share and help. 
He wrote to Violet Hodgkin, "I have intensely wished that I might 
make some contribution of my life in this hour of need, but I do not 
yet see anything definite opening for me to do. Perhaps something 
will come." 

What came first, however, was not an opening but a closing, a 
terminus such as he had encountered in the Engelberg Valley. 


Low Gear 

^p^~ ««p»» -*^ 

«W> "V" <M» <M> »^» «~» ■»' »~» «»» 

Ihe twenty-fourth of December, 19 14, was cold and glittery in 
Haverford, with a thin coating of snow over ice. Ten-year-old Mary 
and her friend and next-door neighbor, Anna Pratt, ran to meet Rufus 
Jones on his way to the station. "See my new cap!" cried Anna. As 
he turned to look, his foot slipped from under him and he fell heavily. 

The injury was diagnosed as concussion of the brain. He was out 
of bed again — no doubt too soon — when classes began, but the severe 
headaches continued. When the period of mid-year examinations came 
he was ordered off to Nassau for a rest. 

He went alone, possibly for financial reasons, possibly because 
Elizabeth Jones did not want either to leave Mary behind or to take 
her out of school, but probably because nobody realized the serious- 
ness of his condition. There was also the problem of Prese?it Day 
Papers, which must go to press as usual. "I feel that I am running 
away to Tarshish and leaving many problems for thee and Henry 
to wrestle with," he wrote to Elizabeth. 

It was a wretched voyage. The ship encountered one of the worst 
hurricanes in years and there was for some hours a question of its 
survival. He spent sixty hours in his berth, prostrated by headache 
and nausea. 

He did not feel much better at Nassau. He had one swim, but after 
he discovered that sea-bathing made his head worse he gave it up and 
found his entertainment in long discussions on mysticism with a 



Catholic priest. The weather continued bad and the least exertion 
made his head ache. 

After a dreary week he left Nassau and went to Miami, where he 
stayed at a modest hotel. On the last day he went to Palm Beach to 
take a look at the Royal Poinciana, pausing in the lobby to write a 
letter home: "Here I am at the mecca of all fashion and social 
ambition. I am not however living in this superb hotel; I am only going 
through it as a spectator." Having written a second note, to President 
Sharpless, he was on his way to post his letters when he encountered 
Isaac Sharpless himself, almost hidden behind the Philadelphia Record, 
with which he was trying to assuage his boredom. They fell into each 
other's arms and spent the rest of the day together in the kind of 
deeply satisfying talk for which busy men, even though they are 
colleagues, seldom have leisure or opportunity. 

His head was still hurting when he turned homeward, finding the 
jolting of the train almost as painful as the tossing of the ship had 
been, but he wrote hopefully from St. Augustine, "I believe however, 
that I can run on low gear pretty well when I get back." 

It was not easy, however, and at the end of March he felt that im- 
provement, if there was any, was too slow to be noted. "I am still laid 
aside," he wrote to Violet Hodgkin, "and must for a long time yet sit 
and wait." 

He persisted in meeting his classes, though with difficulty. With 
Henry Cadbury's assistance he kept Present Day Papers going and his 
editorials were full of hope and insight. But he could not speak in 
Meeting or fill any outside engagements. The news of the sinking 
of the Lusitania in May struck horror into his soul and gave him "a 
bad set-back." 

"It began to look," writes his daughter, "as if the cloud would 
never lift." 

Toward the end of June he went to the popular Battle Creek Sana- 
torium for a thorough going-over. He wrote home with rueful 
humor about the course of "fad" food, electric heat, hot applications, 
ice-rubs, stomach pumps and X-rays which he endured. "It is an odd 
place," he commented, and added characteristically, "I quite enjoy 
the people . . . The Kaffir tea is made of herbs and is just not worse 
than the minute-brew postum!" Between treatments he played golf. 

Ten days of tests revealed nothing more serious than fatigue from 
over-work. A summer's rest, he was assured, should put him in per- 
fect health. 


"Nervous breakdown" was the approved blanket word then cur- 
rent to cover a combination of physical and emotional troubles. 
Certainly there was a long history of over-work: the books he wrote, 
the lectures he delivered, the incessant, uncomfortable traveling, the 
nagging pressure of weekly editorials to be written wherever he was, 
in addition to a full schedule of college teaching. There had been also 
a previous history of symptoms that would now be considered psycho- 
somatic: digestive disturbances, asthma, hay fever, insomnia, depres- 
sion. Unconsciously, perhaps, he had felt confined by the pattern 
of his work, frustrated by the pettiness of much of the criticism he 
had met. His impatience with thinking and talking and writing and 
his desire to be being and doing, which he considered two halves of a 
single spiritual reality, suggested that he felt the ache of unused po- 
tentialities. There can be no doubt, moreover, that the tide of grief 
arising from the war tinctured with bitter brine the springs of all 
his energies and purposes. The fact that he could continue teaching 
and writing but was unable to bring himself to speak in Meeting 
or in other religious gatherings implies an emotional block. 

Whatever the physical or emotional causes of his condition, it is 
evident that this man who has been to whole generations the embodi- 
ment of optimism, radiant serenity and unbounded energy, did not 
achieve these gifts without enduring deadly discouragements and 
dismaying loss of power. To "win and practice an optimistic temper 
of mind" was, he declared, one of the real, even if modest, contribu- 
tions which the children of light might make to the spiritual stock 
of the world, but it did not come without effort. 

Throughout these troubled months he had the selfless devotion and 
support of his wife. Their daughter writes, "Patiently, lovingly, his 
dear Elizabeth coped with this visitation. Never hurried, never cross, 
she went ahead, trying to minister to the varied needs of a sick 
husband and a growing, often fretful child, endeavoring to be all 
things to two very different individuals." 

The upturn began when they went in July to Southwest Harbor 
on Mt. Desert Island off the coast of Maine, where they stayed at 
a rambling frame inn with oil lamps in the simple rooms. It was cold 
and foggy when they arrived, and Rufus Jones, with his gift for 
seeing analogies between the outer event and the inner state, found 
an application to his own condition. One of his editorials in Present 
Day Papers reveals the struggle that was taking place within him. 

"Unusual outside weather is only one of our many means of disci- 


pline." (He had come a long way since he wrote to Sallie, "The 
weather molds me like wax," but still he found small joy in gray 
or rainy days.) "Much harder is the fight with inside weather and 
more dreary and pitiless are the fogs and east winds of our human 
spirits . . . The fight with stubborn inward weather, the battle with 
the devil in us, if you will, is the best kind of fighting there is to be 
done, and he who has conquered conditions of inner climate has 
now the best victories which crown men. Not least ... [is] ... the 
further discovery — joyous like that of Columbus sighting a new 
world — that there are inexhaustible resources of divine grace for those 
who are resolved to rise above the fog and mist, the sleet and snow of 
dreary inward weather." 

Violet Hodgkin, who herself had known long illness, wrote en- 
couragingly to him, and her image of the starfish was to delight him 
for many a year. "Isn't it strange how one has to learn to lie like a 
starfish on the beach high and dry and cut off from all renewing while 
the tide rises and falls just out of reach. That's the most tantalizing 
part. And then at last, at long last, in 'Gotteszeit' the real spring tide 
comes and floats even one's tired out starfish of a body out into the full 
flood of life again. Only those who know the deadly weariness of the 
beach can quite understand the living joy of the ocean when we get 
back to it once more." 

Perhaps most of all a chance meeting helped him. A schoolmaster 
from Connecticut staying at the same inn, occupied himself by clear- 
ing trails for climbers on the wooded slopes of nearby mountains. The 
boy who had helped his father to chop down trees in the Maine 
woods awoke in Rufus Jones; he provided himself with an axe, and he 
went out with his new friend. 

"I have had the rare good fortune to meet during my holidays this 
summer a real trail-maker . . . He has been taking me along as a com- 
panion of his walks and as a helper in the work . . . What we are find- 
ing is that any old trail needs a good deal of restoration work done 
on it . . . and must be remarked so that the wayfarer cannot miss 
the trail." He drew the analogy between the old forest fires in the 
mountains healed over by nature, and the blasting fires of war, then 
moving across the world. "As soon as life gets a chance to work again 
it will in its own way repair the damage and havoc . . . What will be 
needed most will be the trail-makers, with solid cairns and clear-point- 
ing arrows, to help the souls of men to discover the true way of life 
and the real sources of spiritual power." 


Before the summer was over, his new strength was put to the test. 
Dr. Francis G. Peabody, his old friend at Harvard, who spent his 
summers at Northeast Harbor, across Somes Sound, urged him to come 
and preach one Sunday to the Union Church there. After Rufus 
Jones had accepted he felt it was an ordeal which he could hardly face. 
Before the Sunday came he got a rowboat and he rowed Elizabeth 
Jones and Mary across the Sound to Northeast Harbor to see the 
church, to try his voice, and to estimate how many people would be 
there. That night, sick with dread, he could not sleep at all. After- 
wards he could not remember how he got there on Sunday morning; 
he only knew that he preached the sermon, that his voice was clear, 
and that people were appreciative. He knew also that it marked the 
end of his illness. 

After church the Joneses went to the Peabodys' house for dinner, 
and so was inaugurated a long and happy association with Northeast 
Harbor. Summer after summer he went there to preach, missing not 
more than two or three out of more than thirty. In later years he 
preached also at the Congregational church in Seal Harbor and visited 
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., at the Eyrie high above the water. 

September in Haverford was muggy and hot, the opening days of 
college strenuous. "I thought when I came back a month ago," he 
wrote to Violet Hodgkin, "that I had returned a new man and that, 
to use thy phrase, the full tide was floating the dry old starfish off the 
beach for good and all. But I have not stood the test of work very 
well and find myself pretty flat again." But he added with the old zest, 
"My classes are splendid this year and I am greatly enjoying my work 
with the men." 

After the stay in Mt. Desert the Joneses had spent a short time in 
South China, as they had done occasionally in previous summers. 
Earlier Rufus Jones had built two or three simple cottages on the lake 
to rent to friends. Now he was able to buy the land that he wanted 
on the hill top overlooking the lake and adjoining Pine Rock, where 
his beloved cousins Richard and Virginia Jones, "Cousin Genie," 
spent their summers, and he decided to build a summer home for him- 
self and his family. In preparation he went to South China at Christmas 
time and spent his vacation in the snowy woods, chopping down the 
trees with which the cottage was to be built, drawing up plans so 
that the local builder could have their house ready for them when they 
came the following summer. He named it Pendle Hill, after the place 
of George Fox's vision. 


Like Antaeus, who sprang up with renewed energy from contact 
with the earth, Rufus Jones found that the touch with his native soil 
and the long strenuous hours under the northern sky restored both 
body and spirit. Complete health did not come at once, but when the 
years of his life were finished and the trail could be seen in its entirety, 
these difficult and apparently barren months were revealed as a sort 
of watershed, from which new and greater streams flowed. 


"A Service of Love in War Time" 

- «'^» «m* *^> *iw> <w< ^ r^i 1^1 ^ — «^» .-^, 

Ihe alternative to war is not inactivity and cowardice. It is the 
irresistible and constructive power of good will." These words were 
part of a "Message from the Society of Friends" which was printed 
as an advertisement in leading American newspapers and magazines 
in March, 19 17. It was signed by a body called the Friends National 
Peace Committee, which represented Quakers of all shades of thought. 

In the spirit and intention of this statement Friends met the entrance 
of the United States into the war on April 6, 191 7. Among individual 
Quakers there would be every possible variation of interpretation 
of duty, from those whose conscience led them into the trenches to 
those who felt they could not cooperate with the military system even 
to the extent of reporting to the camp where they might establish 
their position as conscientious objectors. Many, although not the 
majority, took the position that they could not engage in military 
service but desired instead to do some useful work under civilian 
control through which the irresistible power of good will might 
operate against war itself. To find activities which would fulfil this 
purpose and which would be accepted by the government as an alter- 
native to military service became the immediate and pressing concern 
of leading Friends. 

Rufus Jones went to work at once. Close to English Friends as he 
was, he had watched with sympathy and admiration the solutions to 
the same problem which they had found during the past three years. 



His old friend, Sir George Newman, was chairman of the committee 
of the Friends Ambulance Unit, in which young men who would not 
fight were working under fire to bring the wounded from the battle- 
fields. In 19 1 5, in the midst of his illness Rufus Jones had arranged to 
send four American Friends, one of whom was Felix Morley, later 
to become President of Haverford, to join this Unit and had raised 
the money for their expenses. English Friends had also revived the 
War Victims Relief Committee of 1870, which had done relief work 
in France in the Franco-Prussian War. Since November 19 14 a mission 
of British Friends under this Committee, one of the officers of which 
was T. Edmund Harvey, had been working in France, chiefly in the 
valley of the Upper Marne. 

Four days after America entered the war Rufus Jones, with the 
assistance of Dr. James F. Babbitt, organized an Emergency Unit at 
Haverford College, to provide the students with a course of physical 
hardening and a training in mechanical and agricultural skills which 
should be useful in any kind of volunteer work that might be found 
for them to do. It was primarily a stop-gap, "to keep the men from 
rushing into something else of which we disapproved," as Rufus 
Jones admitted to Violet Hodgkin, but he quickly set about to find 
ways of putting the Unit to real service. 

His first idea of sending young Americans to work with British 
Friends foundered on the difficulties of obtaining permits from the 
War Office in London. His next plan, of an American Friends Ambu- 
lance Unit, dried up when he learned that our ambulance work would 
not be under the Red Cross as it was in England but would be part 
of the military system. He then thought that an American Quaker 
unit for Relief Work in France, on the lines of the mission under the 
War Victims Relief Committee and in cooperation with it, might 
be formed. 

The American Red Cross was in the process of being reorganized, 
and when it was made public that Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy 
had been appointed Chief of the American Red Cross in Paris, Rufus 
Jones moved swiftly. Grayson Murphy was a graduate of the Penn 
Charter School in Philadelphia and had been for two years, 1896- 1898, 
a student at Haverford. Rufus Jones had known him well and felt sure 
of a sympathetic response when he wrote to him about his plan for a 
Friends Unit. Major Murphy, still in Washington, promptly invited 
him to come and talk the matter over. 

Meanwhile, on the 30th of April a group of twelve Friends, both 


men and women, representing the two Philadelphia yearly meetings 
and the Five Years Meeting, met in Philadelphia to attack the same 
problem. They set forth their purpose and attitude in the following 

"We are united in expressing our love for our country and our desire 
to serve her loyally. We offer our services to the Government of the 
United States in any constructive work in which we can con- 
scientiously serve humanity." 

At that first meeting they decided to enlarge their membership, to 
arrange for permanent headquarters and to explore avenues of service. 
They appointed a temporary chairman. At their second meeting they 
decided to ask Rufus Jones and Henry Cadbury to join their de- 

When Rufus Jones went to Washington early in May to confer 
with Grayson Murphy and Henry P. Davison of New York, who had 
been appointed chief of all the foreign relief work of the Red Cross, 
he took four members of this committee with him. The upshot of this 
meeting and a later one in New York was that Rufus Jones's plan for 
a Friends Unit for Relief Work in France, under the civilian service of 
the Red Cross, was approved, and a small commission of Friends was 
asked to go to Paris at once to make definite arrangements on the 

By the time the Committee met on June fourth, it had adopted the 
name which was to become known the world over, the American 
Friends Service Committee, and it had acquired the address which was 
to be almost as famous: Twenty South Twelfth Street, Philadelphia. 

Next door to Penn Charter School, which at that time had not yet 
moved out to Germantown, stood the old Twelfth Street Meeting 
House, where Rufus Jones had first attended meeting in 1882 and 
where he had been married in 1902. Built of traditional red brick with 
white trimmings and two neat white portices, it sat peacefully in its 
old-fashioned yard, surrounded by the bulky banks and department 
stores which the city had thrown up around it in the century of its 
existence. One change had been made in 1892: an organization called 
the Friends Institute had built a wing at the side, with a lounge and 
club rooms for Friends who had no suitable place in the city to spend 
their time. The Friends Institute made one of their six rooms available 
to the newly formed American^riends Service Committee — and the 
camel put his head into the tent. Before the first summer was over, 
that small office room downstairs was outgrown and two rooms up- 


stairs, known as the East and West Rooms, were lost to the Friends 
Institute. In time the Meeting House itself yielded up its second story 
and still there was an overflow to wash into the nearby Common- 
wealth Trust Building. 

But on that early June day in 19 17 the name and the address no 
doubt seemed the least important of the things accomplished. Two 
Friends had already sailed for France with a big contingent of the 
Red Cross. They were Morris E. Leeds, President of Leeds and 
Northrup, one of the largest of the Quaker business firms in Phila- 
delphia, and J. Henry Scattergood, a colleague of Rufus Jones on the 
Bryn Mawr Board. Four young women, to whom two more would 
later be added, had been appointed to go to Russia to join British 
Friends who were working with refugees from Poland in the Samara 
district. Seven Friends, four men and three women, had been offered 
to the War Victims Relief Committee for work in France and had 
been accepted. It had been decided to begin to train a hundred workers 
at Haverford as soon as possible after Commencement, and a com- 
mittee consisting of Rufus Jones, Henry Cadbury and Vincent 
Nicholson had been appointed to decide on applicants and organize 
the training. An important policy decision had been made: the Com- 
mittee woud pay the expenses of the workers abroad but no salaries. 
The only salaries would be those of the Executive Secretary and such 
clerical assistance as he needed. Vincent D. Nicholson had been ap- 
pointed Executive Secretary. 

All these things had been done in previous meetings. On June fourth 
the budget, which had been tentatively set at $110,000 for work 
abroad, $5,000 for office expense, was increased to $200,000 for work 
abroad. The most important action that the Committee took that day 
was to ask Rufus Jones to serve as its Chairman. 

He did not accept immediately, but took a week to consider. His 
health was still not good, he carried a full schedule at Haverford, he 
was engaged in writing the weighty final volume of the Quaker 
history. They assured him that it would not take much of his time, 
just the lending of counsel and the presiding over meetings, which 
would be less frequent as the work got under way. He would have 
liked to think it was as simple as that, but at bottom he knew it must 
be otherwise, though he did not guess — how could he? — that for 
the next thirty years there would be scarcely a day in which, first 
as chairman and then as honorary chairman, he was not somehow 
involved in its activities, faced with a sudden trip, an important de- 


cision, a delicate piece of negotiation, emergencies of every description, 
and endless speakng and writing on its behalf. Perhaps the least time- 
consuming of all was the monthly meeting of the Executive Board, of 
which Mary Hoxie Jones writes: 

"He was an excellent chairman of a meeting, bringing in just the 
right touch of humor at the right moment, easing tensions and guiding 
discussions so that the important issues were dealt with adequately. 
He could go through a long difficult agenda and bring the meeting 
to a close at the proper time." 

The Emergency Unit which he and Dr. Babbitt had organized early 
in April had scattered to the four winds at Commencement, though 
some of them returned on July 17th to enroll in what became known 
as the Haverf ord Reconstruction Unit # 1 . There were many applica- 
tions for membership in this unit. In the final choice of the hundred 
men considered the best available, almost all sections of the Society of 
Friends were represented and a small number of non-Friends who were 
sympathetic to Quaker ideals were included. 

For a six-week period of training they were housed in Barclay 
Hall and went to Chase Hall for morning and evening classes in French 
language and history, world conditions and social service. The 
French course was planned and directed by William Wistar Comfort, 
who had recently been appointed president of the college on Isaac 
Sharpless's retirement. During the afternoons the men were given 
instruction in carpentry and masonry, road-building, mechanics and 
agriculture, and had regular periods of physical exercise. Every day 
included a half-hour worship period. 

Rufus Jones, who had taken his family to their "precious retreat" 
in South China, himself spent much of that summer on the night train 
between Maine and Washington or Philadelphia. He was often at 
Haverford to see how things were going and to mingle with the men. 
The first morning he was on hand to start them off with a talk on the 
spirit of Quaker service. 

"I had breakfast with the men this morning at 6: 30," he wrote to his 
wife, "and I gave them an address at 7:30 on the deeper purposes of 
the unit. It was an interesting occasion. This was the first united 
exercise since the unit met. They rose splendid [ly] to my talk and 
seemed to catch the vision which I tried to give them." 

The training of the Unit was a bold act of faith. For a time the 
expected opportunity for service in France seemed to be evading 
them. Only a few days before the actual opening of the Unit, when 


Elizabeth B. Cadburv at the time 
of her engagement to Rufus Jones 

Rufus Jones in his study in Haverford 

Elizabeth, Mary Hoxie and Rufus Jones in March, 1909, at 2 College Circle 

Mary Hoxic Jones in 1943 

Rufus and Elizabeth Jones at South China in 
1947, with China Lake in the background 

Courtesy of Haverford College 
Rufus Jones talking to students on his front porch in Haverford 


the men had been selected and all arrangements made, word came 
from the two commissioners in France that all Red Cross work was 
likely to be militarized and that there appeared to be no place after 
all for a Quaker civilian service. The decision to go ahead and prepare 
a group for opportunity when and if it should arise was one of the 
crucial decisions of the summer. 

Gradually the commissioners developed a plan. The work done by 
English Friends offered an impressive demonstration of the quality 
and extent of Quaker service. The English group generously offered 
to take American Friends into their projects on the same standing as 
their own, with equal representation on the executive committee. A 
"triangular merger" was projected, by which English and American 
Friends were to unite in the "Anglo-American Mission of the Society 
of Friends" — affectionately known to the workers as the "Mish" — 
and the Americans were to be also under the auspices of the American 
Red Cross Commission, which was not militarized. The Red Cross 
would supply the permits and passes so difficult to get in war-time 
France, as well as agricultural equipment, motor vehicles and 533,000 

Morris E. Leeds returned on August 24th to report the final de- 
cisions, while J. Henry Scattergood stayed on a few weeks longer in 
Paris to welcome the Unit when they should arrive. Four days later 
the first fourteen men sailed for France, to be followed by the rest in 
three or four installments as clearance was finished with their draft 
boards or as space on the crowded ships became available. Four 
women who had been recruited by the sub-committee for women's 
service sailed on the 1 5th of September. All the workers wore the gray 
uniform designed and worn by English Friends, and in November the 
American Friends Service Committee adopted as its official emblem 
the eight-pointed red and black star first used by the War Victims 
Relief Committee of 1870. 

Problems of the draft had arisen early. The Selective Service Act 
of 19 1 7 exempted members of the historic peace churches from mili- 
tary service but not from non-combatant service, by which was meant 
service in the medical, commissary, quartermaster and similar depart- 
ments of the army. Conscientious objectors, when drafted, were 
obliged to go to a mobilization camp and there establish their right to 
exemption. To many this sort of non-combatant service was even worse 
than fighting, for it implied a desire to avoid the risks of war rather 
than a rooted objection to war itself. Rufus Jones and other members 


of the A.F.S.C. made many trips to Washington to interview Secre- 
tary of War Baker and his assistants in the effort to get voluntary 
civilian work in France accepted as an alternative to non-combatant 
military service. President Wilson, while postponing the setting of a 
definite policy for conscientious objectors, wrote a letter to Rufus 
Jones in which he gave a useful measure of approval to the Commit- 
tee's plans. 

"In the meantime," he concluded, "I am sure you will permit me 
to express deep appreciation of the reconstruction work proposed 
and my happiness that it is being carried out in association with the 
Red Cross which is already doing a great work in France to express 
the heart of America." 

A number of the members of the Haverford Unit were drawn in the 
first draft, and the A.F.S.C, while waiting for the slow government 
wheels to grind out a general ruling, went to work on individual cases. 
The District Boards had considerable discretion at that time and could 
issue permits for members of the Unit to leave the country. They 
were overwhelmed with work, they had quotas to fill, and they found 
conscientious objectors a troublesome set of people in any case. De- 
cisions were slow in coming, but in the end all but one of the Haverford 
hundred got off in September. 

Later, when the second American unit was on its way and the Red 
Cross was clamoring for still more Quaker workers, a system was 
worked out by which the men were "furloughed" from the army to 
do farm work at home or to serve abroad under the A.F.S.C. For the 
men who were waiting for their furloughs or their passports to come 
through, the Committee rented a large fruit farm near Kennett 
Square, where training continued and a good deal of useful work was 
done for the community during the waiting period. 

"It looks often to the outside observer that A.F.S.C. affairs run so 
smoothly," Rufus Jones was to write years later in retrospect, "that 
he has little comprehension of the stress and strain and the patience 
that are called for behind the scenes. But as a matter of fact every step 
is beset with difficulties, handicaps, impossibilities, what Hegel called 
Die Ohnmacht des Natur — the innate cussedness of things. Nothing 
can be accomplished without endless journeys to Washington, New 

When the Haverford Unit reached France, 145 English Friends, 
men and women, all volunteers serving without pay, were working 
in hospitals which they had established, bringing relief to refugees, 


putting up portable houses in devastated villages, supplying tools and 
seeds and manpower to help farmers get started again. Each center 
of work was an almost self-governing unit called an equipe with a 
chief elected by the workers. All was coordinated by a committee 
in Paris. 

The Americans as they arrived were distributed among the various 
equipes in greater or smaller numbers according to needs and abilities. 
Some went to Dole and Ornans to build portable wooden houses, 
others to Sermaize, where many of the houses were set up and where 
also the English committee maintained a hospital and a district nursing 
center. In this hospital Dr. Babbitt was to perform more than a thou- 
sand operations during the year and a half that he was there. The 
maternity hospital at Chalons-sur-Marne was the largest of several 
hospitals for which the group was responsible. 

The need was enormous and the Quaker workers turned their hands 
to everything, from organizing big projects of rebuilding and relief 
to trying to infuse French peasants with a spirit of cooperation or to 
teaching a small child the lost art of play. They gave lavishly of their 
strength, counted no task too menial, put up with uncomfortable 
quarters and monotonous food. "I slept on a pile of straw by the side 
of a bed in which six children slept feet to feet, while around me 
fifteen other little ones slumbered on mattresses and cots," a woman 
worker described the evacuation of children from Bar-le-Duc in 
October, 1917. "For the first two days we had to do all the cooking, 
as the woman who was sent to help us sat in our one arm chair with 
her feet on the stove and refused to work. It is some job to cook 
enough food to stuff forty-one young huskies." Altogether, work was 
done in four main categories, medical, agricultural, relief, and build- 
ing and reconstruction. 

The second unit worked at first directly under the Red Cross, 
building hospitals, assisting in the relief of prisoners, helping to care 
for cases of war-induced insanity, and so on. After the signing of the 
Armistice and the closing of the work of the Red Cross they became 
part of the Anglo-American Friends Mission. The total number of 
Americans working under the A.F.S.C. in France grew to six hundred, 
of whom about five hundred and fifty were men and about fifty were 

The triangular merger worked out satisfactorily in spite of the 
obvious difficulties. In the headquarters in Paris, where the directors, 
both English and American, were mature and able people successful 


in their life work, conflicts could be handled objectively and policies 
adjusted to needs. In the equipes, where personalities rubbed and 
clashed in the daily round, it was more difficult. 

There is in the A.F.S.C. files a calm and genial report on the points 
of irritation by Wilfred Shewell, a member of the English Commit- 
tee. After referring to "differences of language, training, outlook and 
sense of humor" he went on to point out that the English Friends 
had been there three years, that they were pacifists who had established 
their pacifism in searching examinations before military tribunals. 
Many of them were war-weary, some "even in their own country 
would be considered cranks." The Americans on the other hand were 
chiefly college boys between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three, 
whose pacifism had been won (or so the English thought) by "a stroke 
of the presidential pen." Their "cheery irresponsibility" was very 
trying to the English, whose "dogged reserve" was in turn chilling to 
them. The English had a plainer standard of living than the Americans, 
who had come from a land of comfort and plenty. The energetic 
Americans wanted to get things done quickly and see results. They 
resented the more experienced English workers as "task-masters." 

There is no such analysis from the American viewpoint, but any of 
the Americans who were in France in 191 7-1 8 will now chuckle remi- 
niscently and tell an illustrative anecdote or two. All will agree, how- 
ever, with Wilfred Shewell's summing up: 

"Months of cooperation in work brought about not only under- 
standing and tolerance but a true appreciation of the qualities of both 
sides . . . The close of the war found a completely unified group." 

To this unity Rufus Jones made his own characteristic contribution. 

As early as January 19 18 word came to the Committee in Philadel- 
phia that there was some strain between the two groups in France 
and Rufus Jones was encouraged to write a letter to the American 
unit. "Those of you who were at Haverford last summer," he wrote, 
"where our common fellowship was of the happiest sort, will re- 
member how often I used to remind you that our reconstruction 
work must be a spiritual service as well as a manly effort to rebuild 
and repair what has been devastated and laid waste. You cannot do 
your full service to France unless you can help restore and refresh 
the spirit of those who have unspeakably suffered, and exhibit in your 
lives and in your words and in your work an underlying faith in eternal 
realities." Nothing at all about being nice to their English co-workers, 
just the pointing to the task itself and the spirit in which it was to be 


done. When you want to change attitudes, he had long ago found, 
you do not say so directly but set about attaining some goal that will 
arouse group loyalty and create teamwork. 

A little over a month after the Armistice was signed, he left his 
college work in the hands of Dr. Theodore de Laguna of Bryn 
Mawr and with Henry Scattergood he made a swift trip to France, 
sailing on the Chicago, which was full of relief workers of all kinds 
and a large number of Polish officers and soldiers. Norman Angell, 
William Allen White, whom Rufus Jones found "delightful, like a 
great, happy boy," and "many other good and interesting people" 
were also on board. 

Norman Angell wrote of the trip in his autobiography: "The end 
of the war found me in America. I left almost immediately for Paris, 
traveling to Bordeaux in a rat-infested ship with Henry Scattergood 
. . . With him was Rufus Jones, 'the Quaker saint' — a title I am sure he 
disliked, for his saintliness had nothing of the dehumanized quality we 
commonly associate with saints. Both were an honor to the Society of 

The crossing was a rough one and the ship did not reach Bordeaux 
till after Christmas. Rufus Jones and Henry Scattergood were wel- 
comed in Paris by Charles and Lillie Rhoads, who since the previous 
September had been heads of the American Unit. From the beginning 
it was characteristic of the A.F.S.C. that at its call mature and success- 
ful Friends laid aside their business or professions to go and serve, 
without pay, for six months, a year, sometimes two years, where they 
were needed. It has given the work of the Committee extraordinarily 
able leadership as well as continual fresh insights and varied talents. 

The first thing that Rufus Jones did in Paris was to seek out a well- 
known nose and throat specialist and have several polyps removed 
from his nose. The operation was performed with a local anesthetic 
in the doctor's office. Immediately afterwards he rose up and went 
home with the Rhoadses for one night's coddling. Two days later, 
his nose still swollen and painful, he sat up on a train all night long 
on his way to visit the equipe at Dole in the Jura. 

The next weeks were full of traveling, of speaking, and of strenuous 
manual labor. Following his concern to see for himself the morale of 
the workers and the effect of the experience on their lives, he visited 
all but two of the equipes and talked with almost every member of the 
Mission, both English and American. He put on overalls and hammered 
or dug or pushed wheelbarrows by their side. He made speeches almost 


daily. "I am supposed to be loaded for every occasion," he wrote to 
Elizabeth Jones. He was pleased with what he found: the evidence of 
increasing maturity and depth, the absence of self -preoccupation, the 
seriousness of purpose. It is evident that wherever he went he spread 
the contagion of his own good humor, his vision, his willingness to 
give himself. 

By the beginning of the second semester at Haverford, he was at 
home again, disappointed that he had not been able to go to London 
to see his friends there but satisfied that "the spirit of the Mish" was 
in good case. 

As the first phase of Quaker service was drawing to its close, Isaac 
Sharpless urged Rufus Jones to write the history of the work in France. 
After demurring that he was too busy and getting the bracing answer 
that "a man can always do more than he is doing," Rufus Jones went 
to work in October, 191 9. He finished the book on the last day of the 
year, but before it was published Isaac Sharpless, that old friend who 
had been an influence and guide since he first came to Haverford as a 
country boy in a Prince Albert coat, was dead. He dedicated his book 
to the memory of "one of the truest, best, and most loved men I have 
ever known." 

The title which he gave to his history was one of the best in a 
long list of good titles: A Service of Love in War Time. The power 
of love, not the accomplishments of individuals or even of a Society, 
was the theme of the book. "It is written solely to interpret a spirit 
and a way of life, to convey, if possible, the truth that love will work 
everywhere and always — semper et ubique — even with enemies, vastly 
better than the way of hate works." He summed up what had been ac- 
complished. Aid had been given to 1666 French villages and to over 
46,000 families. 25,000 trees, mostly fruit, had been planted in the 
Verdun area. Many of the workers were coming home. The French 
were deeply appreciative, recognizing the gift of friendship and of 
hope which gave meaning to the material aid. 

Though the work in France was finished, new needs were summon- 
ing the Friends to other countries. A small group, which included 
Andrew W. Pearson of Swarthmore, now better known as Drew 
Pearson, was in Serbia building houses and providing for orphans. 
American and English Friends together were fighting typhus in Poland 
and taking milch cows and coal to cold and rickety children in Vienna. 
The most daring and the most extensive work that the A.F.S.C. ever 
did, the feeding of a million German children, was in preparation. 


The A.F.S.C. no longer belonged solely to Friends. In the autumn 
of 19 1 8 people outside the Society of Friends began to take an interest 
in the work and to contribute generously. Among the workers the 
numbers of those who were not Friends, of members of the Fellowship 
of Reconciliation, Mennonites and Brethren, pacifists of all kinds, 
earnest young people from a variety of churches, grew larger over 
the years. 

In addition to what it did for needy people abroad, the A.F.S.C. 
enormously benefited the Society of Friends itself. Touched by human 
suffering, all varieties of Friends had worked together and had found 
a new unity in their common concern. Sewing committees in local 
meetings drew stay-at-home members into a direct relationship of 
love and need and work. The Friends papers published Service Com- 
mittee news instead of articles on theological problems. 

Rufus Jones found his own life flooded with new energy and 
strength. "As I look back over the years during which I have carried 
the load," he wrote to Violet Hodgkin, "I am inclined to think it the 
most important thing I have done . . . God has been very good to 
me and in spite of the fact that this has been the heaviest winter's work 
I have ever done, I am in the best health I ever can remember to have 
had. I do not understand where the energy comes from." 


Herbert Hoover and Friend Jones 

- m^ i- ~Tj> ~n> w ~iii~~ "*Twf*~ ^jp* " u i ~* ' uT* * j"" " j^* * " i p "*" * i u"* 

1 he full story of the American Friends Service Committee has been 
told elsewhere and told, as it should be, with the emphasis on the 
workers, the work they did and the spirit in which they did it. It 
could scarcely have been the unique service that it was, however, if 
the Chairman of the Committee in those formative years had not been 
the man that he was. Rufus Jones saw always the human faces beyond 
the deadly statistics of need and he had the gift of making them vivid 
both to the workers and to the public to whom he appealed for sup- 
port. He had also a clear vision of the spiritual revitalization which 
could accompany the bread that is shared in love. 

What has not been told is the constant negotiation behind the scenes, 
the continuing interplay of personal relations in the realm of policy 
decisions, that required his particular combination of vigorous honesty, 
good will, vision and courage. Much was done, of course, by the 
Executive Secretary and by members of the Board, but it was Rufus 
Jones who in the pinch stepped in and clarified confused situations. 
After Vincent Nicholson was drafted in 191 8 and his furlough delayed, 
Wilbur K. Thomas, former pastor of the Friends Meeting at Roxbury, 
Massachusetts, an able, tireless and devoted worker, became secretary 
and held the post until 1929. 

When the armistice had been signed and the work in France was 
drawing toward its close, there was some thought that the Service 
Committee's purpose had been fulfilled and that it should be disbanded. 



Human suffering, however, did not stop with the silence of the guns, 
and new demands and new opportunities cried out insistently for the 
kind of service that Friends had learned to give. 

The work that opened up in Germany and Russia after the closing 
of the work in France offered new problems. The needs were so 
gigantic that private resources could not cope with them and govern- 
ment help had to be accepted, with the new and sometimes disturbing 
factors that government brings into any situation. 

Throughout this period the man with whom the Committee 
worked closely was Herbert Hoover. 

Not quite eleven years younger than Rufus Jones, Herbert Hoover 
came out of a similar background. He was born in a farming com- 
munity in the little village of West Branch, Iowa, of Quaker parents. 
His father was a blacksmith and his mother a recorded minister, well 
thought of in the community. Though they both died when he was 
small and his work as a mining engineer took him into the far corners 
of the world, he carried with him always certain fundamental Quaker 
ideals. After the outbreak of the first World War he poured his time 
and strength and fortune into the alleviation of human suffering, 
serving the public welfare without salary. 

From the beginning of the war in 19 14 he had carried on the relief 
of ten million people in Belgium and nothern France under the auspices 
of the neutral ambassadors in Europe. With the Armistice in 191 8 he 
was appointed by the Allied governments the Director of Relief and 
Reconstruction of Europe. This required organization in over thirty 
countries and was a mammoth undertaking. To manage the American 
part of this burden he established under congressional authority the 
American Relief Administration. Drawing on his experience in Bel- 
gium, he introduced the system of canteen special feeding of under- 
nourished children and by the time the treaty was signed in July 
19 19 over ten million children had been fed. With the signing of the 
treaty Mr. Hoover brought official action in European relief to an 
end by transferring his staff to the "voluntary" American Relief Ad- 
ministration to care for about three million debilitated children for a 
further year. 

Herbert Hoover and Rufus Jones had obviously much in common. 
The friendship that developed was a real and lasting one, based on 
mutual understanding and respect, but it was not won without strain. 
In the long series of letters between them, Herbert Hoover's saluta- 
tions reveal the ups and downs in their relationship. "Friend Jones:" 


begins the earliest, in old-fashioned formal Quaker usage. He soon 
changed to the more comfortable "My dear Mr. Jones," which became 
his custom for ordinary use. By the 1930's, however, it had become 
"My dear friend" and finally, "Dear Rufus." 

The A.F.S.C. was interested in taking relief to Germany even before 
Mr. Hoover appeared on its horizon. In October, 19 18, Carolena Wood 
had written to Wilbur Thomas expressing her desire to work in that 
country under the Committee, and by May, 19 19, she was on her way. 
She went first to France, where she visted the Mission while she waited 
for the signing of the Peace Treaty. There she met and talked with the 
head of the American Relief Administration. 

"Mr. Hoover . . . seems to have entered wonderfully into the spirit 
of my concern," she wrote, "and to feel that it is possible thus to 
meet one of the needs of the hour . . . Hoover will let us use his pass- 
ports and sell us all the food we can buy." 

"We may count food values in calories," he said to her at that time, 
"but we have no way to measure human misery." 

As a matter of fact, Mr. Hoover had already organized a program 
of relief to Germany. For four months after the Armistice and in 
violation of a provision in the Armistice agreement of November 11, 
191 8, the Allied governments had continued the blockade of Ger- 
many, against the constant protests of Mr. Hoover and the American 
Peace Delegation. In March 1919 when the blockade was lifted, Mr. 
Hoover was hampered in organzing rehabilitation of the Germans by 
a provision of American law that no government funds should be used 
for enemy relief. He did, nevertheless, succeed in sending food to 
Germany which the Germans paid for in gold. The German govern- 
ment conducted its own distribution and on this basis continued until 
September 1, 1919. 

The Peace Treaty was signed on the 28th of June and on the 7th 
of July Carolena Wood reached Berlin with three others, one of whom 
was Jane Addams. Jane Addams had declared that the A.F.S.C. work 
was the best she had seen and that she wanted to go into Germany to 
represent its spirit and point of view. These women had $30,000 to 
spend on food and twenty-five tons of clothing to distribute — only 
a token but still something to show the practical nature of their good 

Four English Friends had preceded them to Germany by a single 
day and it was assumed that English and American Friends would work 
together in Germany as they had done in France. 


At the end of September Carolena Wood and Jane Addams returned 
to Philadelphia to report to the Executive Board of the A.F.S.C., which 
promptly decided to send workers into Germany. 

Mr. Hoover, looking back nearly thirty years later, says that his 
arrangement with the German government during the period from 
March to August 19 19 was the best that could be made at that time. 
It was not as efficient as a charitable system of canteens producing an 
extra meal a day for children independent of government control, 
such as the American Relief Administration had installed in the other 
famine countries, and there was considerable undernourishment among 
the German children. He was able to get funds for this purpose, but 
he needed more staff. He decided therefore to ask the American 
Friends Service Committee not only to manage the program in Ger- 
many but also to raise as much money as they could for the work. 

On November 1, 19 19, he sent the following letter to Rufus Jones: 

November 1st 1919 
Friend Jones: 

This is to follow up my conversation Thursday with yourself and the members 
of your committee in respect to the relief work on behalf of the children suffer- 
ing from subnormality due to the continued undernourishment in Germany. 

As you are aWare, the organization under my direction last winter in Europe 
undertook the feeding of sub-normal children throughout Eastern and Central 
Europe as a part of its relief functions and we are endeavoring to carry on this 
service, involving about three million children in the newly established democ- 
racies over the forthcoming winter, and to do so from funds provided by charity 
of citizens of their descent in the United States, together with funds provided 
by the various governments concerned. 

We have not yet organized such a service for Germany. Your committee has 
been for some months in service in this particular and I have some funds remain- 
ing from the operations of last winter under the Supreme Economic Council, 
which funds are available to this purpose. I have been approached by various 
societies in the United States, comprising citizens of German descent, who are 
anxious to be of some service in this matter. I, therefore, would be very glad to 
know if your society would be willing to undertake the expansion of your 
activities to the extent o f becoming the repository of any funds which may be 
subscribed for this purpose in the United States, and to the extent of increasing 
your personnel in Germany to further organize and safeguard the distribution 
of food to this specific purpose. 

I wish to state at the outset that, despite the suffering and losses imposed upon 
the American people through the German Government in the late war, I do 
not believe for a moment that the typical American would have any other wish 
than to see everything possible done in the protection of child life wherever it 
may be in danger. We have never fought with women and children and our 
desire must be to see the wounds of war healed through the world. There can 
be no question of the need of such support over the coming winter, because 
Europe generally will not recover from the milk famine until next summer and 
I am convinced by reports received that the child mortality is higher today than 
during the war. 


I suggest that your society undertake this work for Germany for obvious 
reasons. The first is the experience you have gained in initiating this work. The 
second is the fact that this effort in sheer humanity should not be allowed to 
develop into political propaganda in either the United States or Germany and 
it seems to me, therefore, that some society such as the American Quakers, which 
is beyond all question of political interest, should become the filter through 
which such an effort should pass. I see no reason why the citizens of German 
descent in the United States should not contribute to this service; I know that 
the vast majority of these citizens have been loyal to the American Government 
throughout the war and that they themselves will be timorous about undertaking 
an effort that might lead to misunderstanding, and I believe that they would 
welcome the opportunity to support your society as being entirely beyond 
criticism or misunderstanding in such an effort. 

With regard to your query as to whether the evangelical propaganda which 
the Friends Society conducts in Germany and other countries would conflict 
with this work, my own impression is that the pacifism of the Quakers, which 
is of centuries standing, would certainly not be amiss if applied to the German 

In order that there should be every encouragement to undertake such an effort, 
I am prepared to guarantee from the funds at my disposal the purchasing depart- 
ment expenses, and to pay the entire cost of overseas transport from Atlantic 
ports into German ports of any foodstuffs thus delivered for child relief and for 
which your society is to furnish the purchase money. The amount of foodstuffs 
represented by the actual expenditure without the United States would thus be 
made available to your organization in Germany, without any shipping or 
handling charges, and if out of the funds of your society you could undertake to 
pay the entire overhead expenses of accounting for contributions and of the 
administration in Germany, it would thus give a great assurance to these con- 
tributors as to the full realization of the value of their contributions. 

Faithfully yours, 

(signed) Herbert Hoover 

Rufus Jones called a meeting of the whole Board, which then ac- 
cepted this proposal. 

Immediately the Committee was faced with two tasks: the recruiting 
of the Unit and the organizing of a campaign for funds. The first was 
easier than the second. Nineteen Friends, headed by Alfred G. Scatter- 
good, who had been the first, temporary chairman of the A.F.S.C, 
arrived in Berlin on the second of January, 1920. The raising of the 
money took more time. The war was still fresh in people's minds and 
the thought of feeding the enemy, in spite of St. Paul's admonition, was 
so new as to feel stiff and strange. Other Christian denominations 
wondered why so large a job should be the exclusive assignment of so 
small a body as the Society of Friends. Rufus Jones attended many 
meetings and made many persuasive speeches. 

By the third week in June 1920 over a million children a day were 
being fed a supplementary meal in 1640 German communities. The 
small Quaker Unit was assisted by 40,000 Germans, who prepared the 


food in central kitchens and distributed it in feeding centers, usually 
schools, to undernourished children from the ages of two to fourteen. 

In some other projects in Germany, American and English Friends 
could cooperate, but this mass feeding of the children was wholly an 
American operation. It was part of the understanding with Mr. Hoover 
that it should be done "under the American flag." 

Although it had been his original idea to end the German feeding 
with the harvest in 1920, it was soon evident that the need would re- 
main great, and Herbert Hoover continued his aid to the A.F.S.C. 
until the harvest of 192 1, when the German Americans in the United 
States raised enough money to continue the feeding of 500,000 German 
children a day for another year. 

As soon as his college classes were over in the spring of 192 1 Rufus 
Jones, with Wilbur Thomas, made a trip to Germany to inspect the 
work and the needs. Between visiting feeding centers and attending 
staff conferences he took time to go to Marburg and see his old friends 

"I had telegraphed Frau Happich that I would have breakfast with 
her on Friday morning. She figured out the trains and came to meet 
me at the station at 9: 15 p.m. I was going to the Europaischen Hof and 
had not expected to be met. She was overjoyed to see me as though 
I had been a long-lost son. I left my bag at the hotel and walked home 
with her considerably over a mile. We went by the old home. We 
stopped and routed out Fraulein Grotefend who did not know I was 
coming! I got up early and climbed the old castle hill going up our 
old stairs from the church 'bei uns.' It was wunderschon. Everything 
exactly as it was. The old bent spire is still bent, the gardens as fine as 
ever . . . We had a simple breakfast together . . ." After calling on 
several old acquaintances — he saw Frau Sippell but Herr Sippell was 
at Woodbrooke — he continued, "When I got to the station to catch 
the 11:26 train there was Frau Happich, who had decided to go with 
me to Geisen [Giessen] so as to get more visit! We had a beautiful 
visit on the way and we kissed each other goodby as was right and 
proper. I think my visit touched her more than anything since the 
war was over — she feels what the Quakers have done so deeply." 

From Germany they went into Poland, where English and American 
Friends were fighting typhus and helping the Polish farmers to get 
their farms going again. He sent an almost daily bulletin home. 

"We have just left Lublin. Thee can locate that on a map. It is a big 
and famous city. It has a beautiful castle built in 1270 and still in 


perfect condition, though many wars have raged around it. We see 
the effects of the last war everywhere. We have ridden all afternoon 
on top of the train and so have had a great view of the country, which 
is very interesting and well-cultivated ... It is a rural world, a thousand 
miles of sandy plain like New Jersey." 

"It was a great experience to have the whole Polish group together 
yesterday for a general committee meeting of all the workers, then 
this day together. We had a remarkable reception yesterday to meet 
all the great celebrities of Poland and Warsaw. Harrison Barrow and 
I made speeches for Friends and the President of the City and others 
responded . . . We leave tomorrow for a two days' tour of the work 
in the general direction of Lemberg ... It will take us into some of the 
most devastated areas of Poland and we shall see the hordes of refugees 
who form one of the heavy problems of Poland . . . 

"We waited over an hour for the mission auto and finally two 'fur- 
mankas' came instead. A furmaka is an odd Polish or Russian cart, 
very long and very narrow, a bit like a Maine haywagon. We drove 
4 miles to the mission home, run by Hilda Holme of Bait. Here we 
had breakfast. The mission is in a fine old manor house. We spent the 
day visiting the Quaker agricultural work in the section, going to the 
various places on foot or in furmankas as all of the three mission cars 
were hors de combat . . . We found the mission home infested with 
fleas and I as usual got more than my share of their attention . . . The 
next morning we had breakfast at 6: 30 and started about 7 for Werb- 
kowice where we have worked for over a year. This section was com- 
pletely wrecked by the war and the refugees are slowly straggling 
back from Russia. Friends give them their rations, look after their 
children, plow their fields and assist them to build their cottages . . . 
It is a thrilling piece of work and one of the best we have ever done 
. . . Five hundred children, mostly babies and little tiny children, were 
brought that day to our dispensary for examination — all refugees." 

Along with the traveling there were important decisions to make 
about the future work of the mission, and now and then a speech to 
explain it all to grateful but bewildered Poles. From Poland they went 
to Austria, where they spent four days. 

"It is now Monday night. I have just addressed an audience of over 
300 people, Austrian professors, students, and others. I never had a 
better meeting. They literally 'fell on my neck.' I was very tired as 
we have had two very busy days but I forgot all about my body in the 
joy over the meeting." 


It was a disappointment not to be able to get into Russia, where two 
Friends, Arthur Watts, English, and Anna J. Haines, American, who 
had been working in Moscow for over a year, reported a famine to 
be on the way. "Watts is having difficulty getting back and it would 
take us many weeks to get in and out again," Rufus Jones had written 
from London. 

For months the A.F.S.C. had been seeking ways to increase its aid to 
Russia. On the 24th of January 192 1 Rufus Jones had written to Violet 
Hodgkin, "I must go to New York tomorrow morning for an inter- 
view with Herbert Hoover and in the afternoon I must go to Washing- 
ton for an interview early next morning with the head of the American 
Red Cross. This is in behalf of little children in Russia." The interview 
with Herbert Hoover had yielded $100,000 of A.R.A. funds to be 
spent by the A.F.S.C. for food and medical supplies to be distributed 
in Moscow. The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee also contributed 

By July the famine which had been prophesied was an actuality. 
Anna Haines, the only foreign member of a group of Russian doctors 
and teachers who investigated conditions in the Volga Valley, sent a 
horrifying account of what she had seen. At the same time Herbert 
Hoover, who was now Secretary of Commerce in the Harding cabinet, 
sent for Wilbur Thomas to talk about aid to Russian children. Maxim 
Gorki, leading Russian writer and an official of the Soviet government, 
had appealed to Mr. Hoover and the American people for aid, and 
Mr. Hoover had replied setting forth certain conditions under which 
he would undertake the task. The conditions were accepted in a cabled 
reply from the Communist minister of Foreign Affairs, suggesting a 
meeting at Riga to settle an agreement. 

On the 1 8th of August Wilbur Thomas wrote to Rufus Jones in 
Maine that Mr. Hoover distrusted the Soviets. "He especially wanted 
us to have our Committee take the position that we would not work 
in Russia unless the Soviets could agree to the same plans that he had 
laid down for his work. In other words he wanted us to take his de- 
mands and insist upon the Soviet authorities accepting them for our 
own work before we went any further. We told him this was abso- 
lutely impossible; that we had been working in Russia for a year in 
a very satisfactory way; that we were non-political and that any such 
action would give political color to our own work. He insisted that 
Litvinov and the Soviet Authorities were constantly saying to Mr. 
Brown 'Why don't you work like the Quakers do? Why don't you 


accept their plans?' It was evident that this was a very irritating factor; 
and he got so angry about it that he literally pounded the table." 

Two days later a contract was signed at Riga between Maxim 
Litvinov, representing the Soviet government, and Walter Lyman 
Brown, for Mr. Hoover's American Relief Adminstration. It stipulated 
for freedom of movement of the American staff and control by them 
of transport from the ports and detailed distribution to the Russian 
people by such methods as the Americans might decide upon. It also 
called for the freeing of Americans in Russian prisons. Instead of eleven 
American prisoners, of whom the United States had information, they 
freed over one hundred. 

Mr. Hoover at once gave directions to undertake the canteen feed- 
ing of some two million children from American Relief Administration 
funds with Russian assurance that thev could provide a sufficient 
amount for the adult population until the harvest of 1922. He dis- 
patched an experienced staff of some two hundred Americans to set 
up headquarters in Moscow. 

To raise money for this relief program, which later had to be in- 
creased because of the drought that developed in the winter of 1922, 
endangering the following summer's crop, he managed during the next 
few months, to get an authorization from the Congress to use some 
$20,000,000 balance in the hands of one of his former Food Administra- 
tion agencies and an allotment from the War Department in medical 
supplies and clothing. He procured about $7,000,000 from the Ameri- 
can Relief Administration, and from the Russians themselves he got 
about $18,000,000 of former Czarist gold. 

On August 23, Herbert Hoover called to a conference in his office 
the representatives of several organizations, the American Red Cross, 
the Joint Distribution Committee, the Federal Council of Churches, the 
International Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A., the Knights of Columbus, 
the Catholic Welfare Conference, and the American Friends Serv- 
ice Committee. Rufus Jones came from Maine for this conference. 

As the talk unfolded it became evident that private organizations 
would not be able to work independently in Russia but would have 
to be affiliated with the A.R.A. and be bound by the terms of its 
agreement with the Soviet Government. Mr. Hoover proposed that 
the religious organizations select an area or group in which thev would 
like to work, that the American Relief Administration should deliver 
supplies to them at cost; that he should secure for them the protections 
of the Riga agreement and that each religious organization should ap- 


point a representative to the American Relief Administration head- 
quarters both in Moscow and in New York. 

From today's angle of vision, in view of all the difficulties that would 
arise if ten different and possibly competing and overlapping organiza- 
tions undertook to make separate agreements with the Soviet govern- 
ment, this seems a reasonable arrangement. At the time, however, the 
A.F.S.C. felt hampered by the ban against dealing directly with the 
Soviet authorities and it was disappointed not to be able to work in 
collaboration with English Friends. It was also, though the release of 
prisoners was no longer an issue, fearful that some political coloring 
might develop in the terms by which the work was to be done. 
American liberals, including some elements of labor from whom 
financial support was hoped for, had already expressed disapproval of 
the Riga agreement. 

Rufus Jones, nevertheless, having had good reason in the past to 
trust Herbert Hoover and believing that the arrangement was the 
best that they could get, accepted the terms for the A.F.S.C. and re- 
turned to Maine by the Bar Harbor Express that night. 

Evidently along the way, possibly in Washington or Philadelphia 
that afternoon, he encountered some doubt or criticism of his decision, 
for the next day he sent to James Norton, assistant Secretary of the 
A.F.S.C, a telegram from South China, which he followed up with 
a letter the same day. 

South China, 8/24/21 
Dear James: I sent the following telegram to thee this morning on my arrival: 
"I stand solidly by settlement made with Hoover yesterday. If it stops labor 
contribution we must face it and tell Hoover frankly what has happened. Con- 
fident he will use us in district and support with his funds. Prefer not to come 
again but can if necessary." There is no other course open to us. The opportunity 
to go in and carry forward our work of relief in Russia under our own name 
and with our own ideals is all we can expect in this crisis. To stand out and line 
up with the radical wing is to end our career of service and to defeat the end 
we have in view. If our funds fail, as they very likely will, we must either ask 
Hoover to use us as his distributing agents or work quietly with English Friends, 
who are evidently securing funds through a nation-wide appeal ... I greatly 
prefer to line up in the emergency period with Hoover. I feel sure it will ac- 
complish most and best open the way for our future work ... I am more than 
ever clear that we took the right course in Washington and I see no way to go 
back on it. 

The following week he returned to Philadelphia for an Executive 
Board meeting on the Hoover agreement. English Friends had cabled, 
"Consider Friends direct contact with Soviet of greatest value" and 
the discussion in the Committee was vigorous. 


On the first of September Rufus Jones received a number of letters 
and telegrams from individuals and groups urging the A.F.S.C. not to 
jeopardize the "moral and spiritual values" of Quaker work by joining 
Hoover. A few days later Lewis Gannett, who had been a member 
of the first Haverford Unit and was now an associate editor of the 
Nation, wrote to James Norton, "Labor groups profoundly distrust 
Hoover and will not give money to be expended under his direction." 

On September tenth Rufus Jones went again to Washington to 
see Mr. Hoover, who handed him the following letter to be used in 
appealing for funds for Russian famine relief: 

September 10, 192 1 
Dear Mr. Jones: 

In response to your request I beg to say that the efforts being made by the 
Friends Service Committee to secure charitable subscriptions for their work of 
famine relief in Russia has my fullest support. 

I know full well the difficulties of our own people but there are still many who 
can afford support and others who will willingly make sacrifices. The need is 
pathetic beyond description. The effort being made by all American organizations 
to mitigate this terrible suffering is free of purpose in political, religious or racial 
contention. It is not the sentiment of charity to ask who and why. 

None of the organizations cooperating under the Riga and European Relief 
Council agreements, which you have accepted, are in any way losing their identity 
or supervision of their own distribution, subject only to coordination for the 
common good of the Russian people. The sole purpose of these arrangements 
is to assure protection and efficiency in administration, that every cent shall do 
its utmost in saving life — that the whole effort shall be American in name and 

I trust that you will have the support the cause deserves. 

Yours faithfully, 

(signed) Herbert Hoover 

This letter was widely distributed as the Committee made its appeal 
for funds. Something, however, had happened to change the free flow 
of confidence that had marked the whole course of the child feeding 
in Germany. Rufus Jones felt the chill in the air that day, but he did 
not know definitely that something was wrong until he received a 
second letter from Mr. Hoover written on the same day after the 

September 10, 192 1 
Dear Mr. Jones: 

Since you left my office it has occurred to me that I should confirm formally 
the fact that the letter which I handed to you this morning was an entire settle- 
ment of the relationship of the Friends Service Committee and the American 
Relief Administration. I do not want this thing to be constantly turning up 
because a militant group of red-minded people are trying to undermine the 
American Relief Administration through the Friends Service Committee. 

Yours faithfully, 

(signed) Herbert Hoover 


Rufus Jones ruminated over this development for four or five days 
before he wrote his forthright answer: 

September 16, 192 1 
Dear Mr. Hoover: 

I have your letter of September 10th, expressing the desire that your arrange- 
ment made with us last Saturday and set forth in a letter to me should be 
considered a final settlement. It is so considered and we are satisfied with 
your letter. I should not however feel it right to pass over in silence your 
reference to the attempt of "red-minded people" to "undermine the American 
Relief Administration through the Friends Service Committee." I have always 
been a sincere and genuine friend to you and loyal to your great work. I 
would not tolerate for an instant any action on the part of the Service Com- 
mittee while I was an officer which would array it against you or tend to 
undermine your reputation or your efforts. I have no affiliation with or leaning 
toward reds or pinks and I do not intend to have them or anyone else use 
me or our committee to injure you. I am concerned solely with human service 
and with getting as much of it done as possible. I am conscious that something 
has annoyed or offended you and altered your attitude toward us, but I am 
convinced that we have been perfectly fair and square and honorable in our 
relations with you and your great Association and I think you will find that 
we shall play up like men in this Russian situation. 

Sincerely your friend, 

Rufus M. Jones 

Mr. Hoover replied on September 2 1 : 

Dear Mr. Jones: 

Many thanks for your letter of September 16th. 

I have no reserves about the American Friends Service Committee. If there is 
anything in which I have implicit confidence it is the right-mindedness of the 
people with whom I have been born and raised. 

I think you will agree wtih me that the propaganda in the New Republic and 
in the Red press is enough to cause some anxiety lest through such intrigues 
conflict would be created among American organizations and do infinite harm 
to the whole cause of saving life in Russia. Now that I know that this does not 
originate or has no sympathetic support from the Friends themselves, the whole 
matter is at rest in my mind. No one has a higher appreciation of the single- 
mindedness of your efforts than I have. 

For your confidential information I may tell you that you are now safe from 
being raided by the Reds as they have a delegate from Moscow purporting to 
have brought $500,000 to organize the elements of discontent in this country 
under the cloak of relief. At a recent meeting of this committee they made up 
their minds to fight with you and all the rest of us, part of the announced program 
of this delegate being to organize a great American Relief Committee amongst 
workers that will ultimately replace "religious" and "bourgeoisie" efforts. We 
are thus all of us to suffer the bitterness of outcasts. 

Yours faithfully, 

(signed) Herbert Hoover 

The reference in Mr. Hoover's letter to the danger of being "raided 
by the Reds" needs an explanation. The Communists in the United 
States had engaged an American public relations man to organize their 
own relief drive, who secured the names of some senators and others 


for his letter-head and announced that his supplies would be distributed 
through the "Russian Red Cross." Mr. Hoover was informed by his 
staff in Russia that this organization was practically non-existent in 
Russia and by the United States government that the money raised 
was being used largely for Communist propaganda in the United 
States. He denounced the organization and many of its sponsors with- 
drew. At once the radicals and radical labor organizations attacked Mr. 
Hoover. When he learned that "certain individual Friends were sup- 
porting the so-called Russian Red Cross organization" and believed that 
they had joined in the attack on him, he "naturally disliked it." In con- 
sequence a "small cloud" arose between him and the American Friends 
Service Committee. 

Though Mr. Hoover may seem to have been unduly sensitive to 
criticism, it is well known now that he actually was the target of 
Communist-instigated attacks which became more barbed and more 
damaging as time went on and which were taken up and repeated by 
liberals and others who looked on him as a domestic political threat. 
It was unfortunate that the liberal weeklies coupled criticism of 
Hoover with praise of the American Friends Service Committee. The 
articles to which he referred in the New Republic, on August 10, 
August 31, and September 14, had charged him with a "spirit of 
autocracy and dictatorship," "implacable hostility to bolshevism," and 
with having "used the power of food in the past to control revolution 
and overthrow governments of the Soviet type." In contrast it praised 
the A.F.S.C. highly for "undiluted integrity and impartiality" and 
stated that people unwilling to give through Hoover would contribute 
through the "Friends Relief Organization." On September 28, how- 
ever, it printed in full Hoover's letter endorsing the A.F.S.C. and after 
that the invidious comparisons ceased. 

Anna Haines returned from Russia in October to report in person 
on the harrowing conditions in the valley of the Volga, where millions 
of people faced starvation. Besides the loss of crops due to the un- 
willingness of many peasants to work under the harsh Soviet col- 
lectivization of the farms, there had been a severe drought that spring 
which destroyed the small amounts of food that were raised. Hungry 
peasants crowded into the towns. Epidemic disease and starvation 
clasped hands with transportation break-downs and general ineffi- 
ciency. The Soviet government desperately needed help from outside 
and at the same time distrusted the motives of the "capitalists" in offer- 
ing it. 


The A.F.S.C. meanwhile, like other private organizations, was put- 
ting on a campaign for funds through bulletins, appeals, mass-meetings 
and speeches. At a single meeting in Brooklyn in December Rufus 
Jones raised $21,000. The Quaker workers, who had reached Russia 
late in October and who were "standing all the time on the desolate 
frontiers of death," were now feeding 50,000 people a day and crying 
out for more food, more medical supplies, more clothing. 

At this point, when everyone was straining every nerve to increase 
the flow of aid to Russia, Mr. Hoover burst a small bomb. 

On January 2, 1922, he summoned the representatives of the or- 
ganizations which had met with him the previous August for the 
purpose of giving them information which he thought they ought to 
have in forming their plans and policies. Transportation in Russia, 
he told them, damaged by war and revolution, had broken down al- 
most completely. Despite the efforts of the American railway men 
he had sent over, Russian harbors were blocked with ships full of 
food that was not yet unloaded, some of which had already begun 
to "heat" and which could not be carried to the distribution points 
for months. Whatever the need, it was no use to ship more food 
until the situation was improved. 

The representatives at that meeting felt as if the rug had been pulled 
out from under their feet. They knew the serious effect that this news 
would have upon their campaigns for funds. Wilbur Thomas and no 
doubt others spoke up with vigor and some heat. Mr. Hoover assured 
the A.F.S.C. that if their campaign failed he could guarantee them 
enough support from the A.R.A. funds on hand to continue the 
present rate of feeding. 

When he went home that day Rufus Jones wrote Herbert Hoover 
a letter, in which, after expressing appreciation for Mr. Hoover's 
sacrifice of his holiday time and for his "friendly cooperative spirit," 
he recapitulated his understanding of what had been said, pointed out 
that the A.F.S.C. wished to add medical and clothing relief and as- 
sistance in sowing and planting in the famine area, and asked that Mr. 
Hoover emphasize the need in these directions in his statement to the 

Mr. Hoover replied that he was going to make no public statement. 
He was convinced, he said, that the "available supplies of food will 
occupy transportation for some months to come ... I feel a good 
deal of depression," he continued, "at the hysteria that is being injected 
into many of the begging programs." 


Though no public statement was issued, the news leaked out and 
caused a furor. Fund raisers in all organizations complained bitterly 
that people were taking it to mean that no more funds were needed 
for Russia and some of them accused Mr. Hoover of allowing his 
dislike of communism to influence his judgment. 

On February 13th he wrote again to Rufus Jones, explaining once 
more the situation and his motives in having informed the relief 
agencies of it. 

I had the conviction that we should for some months overtax the Russian 
food transport facilities with the funds already provided, and I had the solicitude 
for your work to advise you of this in order that you could shape your policies 
to meet it as the reports of delayed transportation will sooner or later begin to 
flow from the European news agencies. The suggestion seems to have created 
resentment as being some sort of plot of mine to defeat relief to Russia. . . . 

From a personal point of view I have every reason to regret that I ever touched 
a situation that is so pregnant with mud and personal vilification from all sides 
as this appears to be . . . You are doing a good work and I want you to succeed. 

To this Rufus Jones replied sympathetically, informing him that, 
"We are now feeding 100,000 and feel assured that we can continue 
at least that number until midsummer . . . We appreciate your great 
work and are sorry that in doing it you have had to endure criticism 
and abuse." 

Doubt was not a one-way street. While some entertained suspicion 
of Mr. Hoover's motives, other people were anxious about the A.F.S.C, 
and Mr. Hoover had to write many letters of reassurance about them. 
Typical of his answers was this to a club woman who wanted to know 
if there was any truth in a report that A.F.S.C. money was diverted 
to other needy people before reaching the Russians: "I have only the 
highest opinion of their [A.F.S.C. 1 devotion, their ability and their 
responsibility. Every penny that goes to them for Russian relief or 
for any other specified destination gets the most economical and splen- 
did administration." 

On the 26th of February an article appeared in the New York Call 
a Socialist paper, headlined: "Hoover Sabotages Russian Relief." After 
accusing Mr. Hoover with the aid of "an incredibly vile and men- 
dacious campaign carried on by the New York Times" of discredit- 
ing the radical agencies for Russian relief and maintaining a policy of 
crushing every organization except his own, it charged him specifically 
with curtailing the activities of the Society of Friends, with discourag- 
ing and rebuffing them in their efforts to make a nationwide drive for 
funds, and quoted an alleged letter from an unnamed "prominent and 


responsible Quaker worker" in support of the accusation. This article 
found its way to Mr. Hoover, who promptly blew up. 

March 6, 1922 
My dear Jones: 

I think the time has come when the Friends could take energetic measures to 
stop the propaganda constantly gotten out that I have been endeavoring to 
embarrass them and retard their work. If I or the A.R.A. embarrass them then 
the Friends should at once divorce themselves from all relation to the American 
Relief Administration, to which I haven't the slightest objection, or alternatively, 
they should put a stop to this nonsense. 

I call your attention to the type of article appearing in the New York Call 
of February 26th as the sort of thing that is appearing all over the country, and 
which bears the imprint of the Friends' organization. You can scarcely expect 
me to go on re(c)ommending the Friends Service Committee and have prop- 
aganda of this sort going on without denial from you. I consider that it would 
be the honest thing for the Friends to address an energetic denial to the New 
York Call as to the wholly erroneous character of such statements. 

I will go even further and state that it will be no embarrassment to the A.R.A. 
or myself if your committee thinks it desirable to separate entirely from the 
A.R.A. If you have any feeling that you could be of greater service in this 
way pray do what you think best. 

In order that there should be no misunderstanding do not think that under 
any circumstances I withdraw the offer made you in a recent letter. My one 
anxiety has been to see the Russian people fed and the substanial guarantees 
that we gave to the Friends Service Committee still remain, in spite of any action 
that you may think it desirable to undertake. 

Yours faithfully, 

Herbert Hoover 

Rufus Jones's answer is not extant. He was ill when the Executive 
Board met to consider the matter, and thus his name was missing from 
the letter to the Call, signed by seven members of the Board, in which 
they called its charges "untrue and unfair" and concluded: "Over 
the experience of several months our Committee has found that Mr. 
Hoover has done far more to support our work in the Russian field 
than any original plan contemplated." 

The American Friends Service Committee continued to feed 75,000 
a day until the first of April, 1923. 

Later Herbert Hoover and Friend Jones were again to work to- 
gether on raising money to relieve suffering, in 193 1 when unemploy- 
ment and depression bore heavily on the miners of Pennsylvania and 
West Virginia, and Mr. Hoover turned $225,000 over to the A.F.S.C., 
and in the 1940's when another war spread its black wings over the 


"Our Rufus" 

-Q- ^r ^ -tj>- -^- 'C w ' "v~ -' w ~ ' m ^ "9"* ^ w " *V~ *V* -V* ^T* 1 

1 he five years from 19 17 to 1922, in which Rufus Jones poured out 
thought and energy for the American Friends Service Committee and 
travelled far in its behalf, were also filled with other vital concerns: 
with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which he had helped Henry 
Hodgkin to start in 191 5, with the affairs of Bryn Mawr College, in 
which he became more than ever involved by his election to the chair- 
manship of the Board in 19 16, with the All Friends Conference in 
London in 1920, and with those perennial and fundamental activities 
of his life, teaching, writing and speaking. 

As early as 191 7 Friends in England and America began to plan a 
world-wide conference to be held in London as soon as the war should 
end, to discuss and explore fundamental problems of war and peace 
from the Quaker viewpoint. In August 1920 this dream came to 

Three hundred and fifty delegates from yearly meetings in the 
United States, others from "our colonial empire," as it was still custom- 
ary to say in England in 1920, and from small and scattered meetings in 
China, Japan, Africa, India, Syria, Norway, France, Denmark, Hun- 
gary and Switzerland, gathered with English Friends; 936 delegates in 
all. Wives and children who were not admitted to the actual sessions 
went along for the marginal experience. 

Rufus and Elizabeth Jones and Mary sailed from New York on the 
seventeenth of July, carrying with them in a special suitcase the pre- 


"OUR RUFUS" 185 

cious manuscript of the last volume of the Quaker History to deliver 
to the English publisher. "The bag was never out of his sight during 
the voyage," his daughter remembers, "and the family knew that what- 
ever else had to be sacrificed in case of a disaster this must be saved." 
Rufus Jones had time to make three addresses at Woodbrooke and 
two at Cambridge before the conference opened. On the conference 
eve he delivered the Swarthmore lecture, the only Friend ever to have 
given two Swarthmore lectures. This was an open meeting and more 
than two thousand people crowded into the Central Hall, Westminster, 
to hear him. It must have been an "epoch moment" for him; his old 
friend Edward Grubb presided and on the platform behind him were 
Elizabeth Cadbury, James Wood and his daughter Carolena, William 
Charles Braithwaite and others; a sea of eager faces stretched before 
him, the war was over and hopes were high for a new and better world. 
His subject was "The Nature and Authority of Conscience." It 
was not an easy, popular address; its abstract thought and closely 
reasoned argument made demands on his listeners. He examined various 
explanations of conscience and found them inadequate. Barclay's de- 
scription of it as a natural faculty informed and illumined by the Light 
Within as a lantern is lit by the candle inside, which was not only the 
long-accepted Quaker view but also substantially that of the scholastic 
theologians and the great mystics, Rufus Jones criticized as too sharply 
dualistic, though he recognized it as a valuable interpretation in its 
time. The "intuition theory" of conscience as an implanted infallible 
oracle he found not only unacceptable in the light of modern psy- 
chology but also unsatisfactory as it deprives man of moral autonomy. 
The naturalistic explanation that finds conduct merely the product of 
education and evolution failed, he said, to account for either its origin 
or its authority. He himself, acknowledging his indebtedness to his 
old professor George Herbert Palmer, saw conscience as the point of 
juncture between the individual self and the large consciousness in 
which it is embedded, the Beyond that is within. Since in the depth of 
man's being he is never sundered from God, conscience is both human 
and divine. While recognizing the element of education and social 
environment which makes the judgments of conscience subject to 
great variation in different periods or civilizations, he held it to be 
nevertheless the "surest authority within our reach," a voice to be im- 
plicitly obeyed. He warned against the dangers of a static conscience 
and urged a "continual transformation of conscience in relation to 
the growing revelation of God." 


The young people in the audience responded with especial enthu- 
siasm, finding his humor, his "freedom from affectation," his recogni- 
tion of the achievements of science, the authenticity of his own life 
and experience, immensely convincing. 

The following day the sittings of the conference began. In the ses- 
sion devoted to the Character and Basis of our Testimony for Peace 
Joan Mary Fry and Rufus Jones both presented papers. "This, I take 
it," said Rufus Jones, "is our main business here as it is the central mis- 
sion of the Society of Friends in the world, to make faith in the moral 
and spiritual forces somewhat more real." Whether or not this could 
be truly said of the Society of Friends as a whole, it was certainly true 
of Rufus Jones; throughout his life, through his writing and speaking 
and teaching, his attempts to alleviate the suffering that man inflicts 
on man, he sought to widen people's recognition of the power of moral 
forces and to make real to others the God who was reality itself to 
him. All the rest, peace, social justice, unity in diversity, would follow. 

In other sessions the assembled Friends wrestled with fundamental 
problems of race relations, class distinctions, conditions in industry, 
questions of capital and labor, searching out the seeds of war in the 
soil of daily life in a new and determined way. The experience of con- 
scientious objectors, the fresh awareness that had come with the work 
of reconstruction and relief, the vision of international Quaker centers 
and the consciousness of social movements in the world had opened 
minds and sharpened consciences. The London Conference of 1920 
was a turning-point in Quaker thought, and to the leadership of Rufus 
Jones and the group of English Friends with whom he was in such 
close accord much of this great awakening was due. 

During the week of the conference the Joneses stayed at the Great 
Eastern Hotel, where Barrow Cadbury entertained twenty American 
and English Friends, including such old friends of Rufus Jones as 
Violet Hodgkin, in a typical Quaker houseparty in which religion and 
merriment were intertwined. 

The London Conference was followed by a briefer one at Oxford, 
where it rained and the temperature fell to 3 8°, and a week-long Con- 
ference of four hundred Young Friends at Jordans in Buckinghamshire 
in which Rufus Jones took an important part. Exhausted when it was 
all over, he was carried off by his old friends for a holiday in York- 

"How do prophets occupy themselves when not prophesying? It 
fell to my happy lot," wrote George Newman, "to travel at pleasure 

"OUR RUFUS" 187 

with a distinguished American Professor of Philosophy, the English 
historian of Quakerism, and a well-known director in a famous firm in 
the north of England immediately after the termination of the con- 
ference. They had exhausted themselves (and possibly others also) at 
the aforesaid Conference, and I was selected as a victim of their sub- 
sequent reaction . . . We began our delightful journey through the 
North Riding moors, the ostensible purpose of all our action and 
inaction being to supply a rest-cure for the American Professor." 

Conversation, W. C. Braithwaite recorded in his diary, ranged over 
philosophy, psychology, the Quaker History, dreams, snoring, indus- 
trial fatigue, and large families. Rufus Jones told his inimitable stories. 
He told of the time he was scheduled to deliver an address at the 
Lowell Institute in Boston and how the day before as he sat at his 
desk he heard a voice saying, "But thou wilt never give it!" How he 
was stricken that night with ptomaine poisoning, and was taken to 
the hospital where he was worked over by the doctors, who thought 
they could do something temporary; and how at two o'clock he stood 
up on his shaky legs and lectured to a thousand people. "Don't think 
I ever did anything better," he told them. "I downed the old voice and 
collapsed afterwards like a balloon." 

He told them too of the prayer of a New York Friend before an 
address which he was to give on the synoptic gospels: "O Lord, thou 
knowest we are about to hear many things that are not so." 

"This then," George Newman said, "was the Professor's rest-cure. 
Dear friend and comrade and beloved Professor." 

"I was completely done out and wondered whether I should ever be 
rested again. I was far too tired for Oxford and was only a fragment 
of myself at Jordans, but the hills, the sea, the heather, the air and the 
splendid fun have restored my poor old dust wreath of a body and my 
soul feels better," the Professor himself wrote to Violet Llodgkin from 
Scalby, where he rejoined his wife and daughter. 

They came home first class on the Aquitcmia, of which Rufus Jones, 
fresh from the social probings of the Conference, commented, "John 
Woolman would not have stayed aboard a minute! It would have 
struck at his life." 

M. Carey Thomas was also aboard, but probably not entertaining 
any uncomfortable reflections about John Woolman. She was return- 
ing to Bryn Mawr after a year's leave of absence from the college, 
which she had spent travelling in Europe and the Near East. 

Rufus Jones had known M. Carey Thomas from his first arrival in 


Haverford in 1893, when she was still dean of Bryn Mawr. She then 
sat directly in front of him at Haverford Meeting, and when he rose 
to speak he was aware of her "awesome" presence. She was six years 
older than he and already a formidable figure. 

When he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr in 
1898, he had immediately begun a movement to have her made a 
trustee too, an end for which she had been laboring ever since she 
became president four years earlier. He knew from his own experience 
at Oak Grove the difficulties of the executive who is not a member of 
the Board. It took four years more, with the efforts of Carey Thomas 
herself and the support of her cousin David Scull to accomplish this 
purpose, and she was always grateful to Rufus Jones for his part in it. 

The friendship between these two strong, gifted and dedicated 
but wholly dissimilar personalities was profound and genuine and re- 
markably unshaken by the series of shocks and strains which it suffered. 
Rufus Jones was disturbed by the methods which Carey Thomas used 
to force the resignation of William Allan Neilson, associate professor 
of English, who gave, he said, the best course in Browning that he 
knew of. The building program of the college provided the next severe 
test. The college was poor and the trustees felt obliged to guard every 
penny. The President had a vision of Oxonian beauty and dignity and 
she looked toward the future when cost would be forgotten but badly 
cut stone and inferior wood would still be there to be lived with. To 
her mind nothing less than teakwood was good enough for the pan- 
elling of the entrance to the Library and the reading room. Rufus 
Jones was one of a committee of three who after a careful investiga- 
tion brought in a decision against teakwood. When in spite of every- 
thing, the finished library was panelled in teakwood, tension resulted. 
"This was the hottest thing that ever happened, and it came near 
ending her career," said Rufus Jones to his daughter in 1948. One 
Friend resigned from the Board. Carey Thomas stayed. 

The crisis over faculty government in 19 16 was deeper and more 
shattering. The story has been told in Edith Finch's biography of 
Carey Thomas and in Cornelia Meigs's history of Bryn Mawr, and 
need not be treated in detail here. Faculty resentment over the Presi- 
dent's arbitrary methods of appointment and dismissal came to a head 
at a time when throughout the academic world there was a general 
movement toward a more liberal policy of faculty participation in 
college government. Thirteen full professors at Bryn Mawr offered 
a plan of reformation, and Rufus Jones who by then was chairman of 

"OUR RUFUS" 189 

the Executive Committee of the combined boards of directors and 
trustees, was one of a committee of five to consider the faculty pro- 
posals. Before any conclusions could be reached a series of articles 
personally attacking the President of the College appeared in the 
Philadelphia Public Ledger, accompanied by critical letters from 
former faculty members, some of whom had been dismissed. Feeling 
ran high among the faculty, the alumnae, and the community. 

All through April and early May the committee held session after 
session, meeting with the President and with the faculty, together and 
separately. Among the thirteen full professors who initiated the move- 
ment was Rufus Jones's old and close friend, George Barton, through 
whom and through his own experience as a Haverford professor he 
must have been able to understand fully the faculty point of view. 
Rufus Jones's liberality, his wisdom, his broad spirit doubtless played 
a large part not only in developing the plan of government adopted 
in May but in reconciling the passionate differences that might have 
resulted in permanent cleavages. That Carey Thomas could assimilate 
this humiliating experience, accept loyally the new plan, which in- 
creased the faculty's power as it diminished her own, and give her 
energy and powers of persuasion to making it successful, is a measure 
of the greatness of her spirit. It is possible that there was also some 
contagion from Rufus Jones's steadying wisdom. 

Thomas Raeburn White, who with Charles Rhoads was largely 
responsible for working out the legal aspects of the plan, commenting 
in 1933 on tne varied problems which the Bryn Mawr Board had had 
to meet over the years, said: "We may now look back on some of these 
problems with a smile, but when they came upon us the way was not 
so easy to discern. I know I speak the views of my associates when I 
say I do not know how we could have solved them without the un- 
flagging zeal for the truth and wise counsel of Rufus Jones. With him 
at the helm we had faith we should weather the storm." 

Cornelia Meigs refers to the debt that Carey Thomas owed to Rufus 
Jones. "Next to her father, he was probably the man who best under- 
stood Carey Thomas and gave her the most of the wisdom and caution 
that she needed. He was in turn the recipient of her deep regard, and 
those who knew her well were aware of how strong and deep her 
affections could be." 

James Wood, president of the Board, resigned that autumn, in pro- 
test against the Board's action, Edith Finch assumed, but actually, 
Rufus Jones believed, for reasons of health. In December, 19 16, Rufus 


Jones was elected President of the combined boards of trustees and 
directors. The association with Carey Thomas over problems major 
and minor continued. He went often to the Deanery, which was her 
home, and she came to his house to consult him there. His daughter has 
a vivid memory of those formidable interviews. The word would come 
that she would arrive at a certain hour, and apprehension and gloom 
would settle over the household. Rufus Jones awaited her in the parlor 
downstairs, while Elizabeth Jones and Mary withdrew to the study 
above. The carriage — and later the car — drew up, the sturdy figure, 
made more impressive by the limp and the cane, alighted and mounted 
the front steps. 

"I formed the habit in all these interviews," wrote Rufus Jones, "of 
being utterly sincere and honest in my expression of judgment or 
opinion. She knew that I was never acting capriciously or taking an 
opposing opinion arbitrarily." 

After the visitor had departed, wife and daughter emerged to see 
how things had gone. It was always immediately evident. If they had 
gone badly, Rufus Jones was depressed and troubled; if well, he was 
effervescent with high spirits. 

"We came through those years of labor together," he summed up, 
"in spite of our many points of difference, with mutual respect and 
personal regard for each other." 

Eleanor Little Aldrich, for many years a director of the college, 
recalls Board meetings when Rufus Jones was in the chair, how he 
would turn to Carey Thomas, whom everyone else addressed as Miss 
Thomas, to ask, "Carey, what does thee think?" 

He recognized always her great gifts to the college and the courage 
of her devotion. He recognized also what she gave him personally, the 
enlargement of his knowledge of the educational world and the op- 
portunities for meeting at her house people of interest whom he en- 
joyed knowing. He referred with obvious pleasure to two occasions 
when he heard her discussing the deepest issues of life with Josiah 
Royce and Rudolf Eucken. 

In 1922 Carey Thomas reached the age of sixty-five, and by the 
regulation which she herself had been instrumental in establishing she 
was obliged to retire. For nearly two years previously the search for 
her successor was carried on. Asa Wing, treasurer of the Board, was 
chairman of the committee which made the choice, but Rufus Jones 
was ex officio a member and it was he who set the policy that deter- 
mined the basis of the decision. 

"OUR RUFUS" 191 

The committee received many letters on the subject. It was obvious 
that it would be difficult for anyone to follow Carey Thomas, espe- 
cially as she was to continue to live at the Deanery. Many agreed 
with the professor who declared that it would only be an interim 
presidency, "for no one could survive more than five or six years with 
President Thomas living in the Deanery ready to jump out at intervals 
like a jack-in-the-box and give everyone a 'crisis of nerves'." Others 
were convinced that only a man could handle the situation, and wanted 
Rufus Jones to be that man. When asked if he would accept the posi- 
tion if it were offered him, he declined out of hand. Carey Thomas 
herself and many of the alumnae were certain that to appoint a man 
would be to declare the bankruptcy of higher education for women. 
In a letter to Asa Wing Rufus Jones discussed the whole question. 

He pointed to the obligation to consider Dr. Taylor's purpose in 
founding and endowing the college. "He had a certain type of life 
in mind which he hoped the college would produce — a well-rounded 
spiritual personality." They should look, he felt, for a president "who 
will be deeply sympathetic to those aims and who will be positively 
concerned to have the moral and religious life of the students broadly 
developed." Bryn Mawr stood, furthermore, for a high type of scholar- 
ship, and her president must not lower her standards. "But we must in- 
sist upon the equal importance of standards of life and character." He 
did not, he said, care whether it was a man or woman but he did want 
"a person that has a very high candle power." Desirable qualities which 
he cited were, in addition to "the scholarly and ideal sides of life," 
large practical ability, creative power and leadership, insight, tact, 
and a "tendency to make right decisions and to judge character." Hav- 
ing delineated this paragon, he added that he thought it would be 
"rather easier" to find such a man than a woman! 

Gradually it became clear that the qualities they sought were to 
be found in a Bryn Mawr graduate very popular with the alumnae, 
Marion Edwards Park, Bryn Mawr A.B., M.A., Ph.D., who was at that 
time Dean of Radcliffe. When approached, however, Miss Park refused 

Rufus Jones went to see her. He went directly from Vassar, where 
he had been speaking, but he was joined at Cambridge by the redoubt- 
able Miss Thomas, who sat in the dining-room of Marion Park's house 
and waited while Rufus Jones and the Dean of Radcliffe talked in the 
living-room. She was grateful to him, Marion Park wrote afterwards, 
for his long trip in her behalf, and for the freedom with which she 


could talk to him about college affairs, but it was not till a full month 
later that "slowly and with many hesitations" she accepted Bryn 
Mawr's offer. 

On the last day before Carey Thomas left Bryn Mawr, she invited 
Rufus Jones to ride into town with her. Driving with Carey Thomas 
was a fearful joy. Edith Finch describes it vividly. "Straight and 
masterful she sat at the wheel, the chauffeur, relegated to the rear, 
gripping the edge of the seat, apprehensive and unhappy as out of 
the Deanery driveway, across the campus and through Pembroke arch 
the car surged, cutting corners, jerking at each change of gear, scatter- 
ing students from the roadway like frightened rabbits." 

On this occasion Rufus Jones sat beside her, fully aware of the 
danger to which he had committed himself. Suddenly, she pulled to the 
side of the road, stopped the car, reached over and took his hand and 
said, "We've had serious difficulties in the years we have worked to- 
gether, but we have never lost confidence and affection for each other 
and I want to tell thee on this last occasion that I have great affection 
for thee." 

He was deeply touched by this avowal, and it was perhaps at least 
partly to this that he was referring when he spoke, some years later, 
of the tenderness that was as much a part of her character as the fire. 

The inauguration of Marion Park took place in October, 1922. 
Rufus Jones presided and William Allan Neilson, president of Smith 
College, returned to Bryn Mawr to make one of the principal speeches. 
Elizabeth Jones described it all to Mary, now a Freshman at Mt. 
Holyoke. "Thee should have been here yesterday to see father install 
Miss Park as president. It was a wonderfully fine day and they decided 
to hold the exercises in the cloister . . . Father wore his Haverford 
hood. He presided and introduced the speakers, the third of whom 
was Dr. Comfort, who spoke very well. So did President Neilson. 
Then father said the fateful words that pronounced Miss Park presi- 
dent — and he did it in a most impressive way. Then Miss Park gave 
her speech at the beginning of which about a dozen cameras were 
aimed at her, including one with a winding film." Rufus Jones too had 
time to send a word to her. "Yesterday," he wrote, "was one of the 
greatest events of my life — a wonderful show." 

During these immensely full and varied years Rufus Jones also 
wrote the final installment of the Quaker History series, Later Periods 
of Quakerism, which proved to be so long that at the last minute 
it was decided to publish it in two volumes of five hundred pages each. 

"OUR RUFUS" 193 

In 19 1 9, when W. C. Braithwaite's Second Period of Quakerism was 
published, Rufus Jones had thought that his own task was on the edge 
of being completed. "My volume is practically done," he wrote to 
Violet Hodgkin, "even the Introduction written, but I hope to put 
the finishing touches on it next autumn before sending the ms. to the 
printers ... I shall feel strange not to be carrying this load and no 
longer to be under this immense responsibility. Nobody could have 
been a better co-laborer than WCB. We have worked most happily 

Two years later, however, it was still not out, though he heard it 
"peeping in the egg." Elizabeth Jones had been working on the index 
all through the time that her husband was in Europe visiting the feed- 
ing centers, and her difficult and exacting share of the work was almost 
over. "Thou wilt see when thou reads it," Rufus Jones wrote, "that I 
have had an Atlas' burden on my poor old back. It is a large and compli- 
cated task but now it is done and I shall not do it again. I hope 
nobody will have to do this same sort of thing again." 

It covered the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in England 
and America, the period of "quietism," the organization of the So- 
ciety, the social testimonies, the tragedy of the separations, the effects 
of the "Great Revival," and it foreshadowed the revitalization and 
growth that were to come in the twentieth century. His estimate of 
Philadelphia Quakerism had undergone a change since his first arrival 
in Haverford, when it seemed to him the seat of rigid traditionalism. 
The isolation of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting from the rest of the 
Quaker world he still considered a tragedy, but he saw in it a value 
that he had not found earlier. "Notwithstanding the isolation, however, 
and the slow decrease in membership from decade to decade, Phila- 
delphia Yearly Meeting rendered a great service to the Society of 
Friends at large during the half-century from 1850 by maintaining a 
type of Quakerism which, though conservative, had within its life 
the potentiality of later breadth and expansion." 

The history which this volume concluded had taken sixteen years 
to write. It comprised seven volumes, of which five — Studies in 
Mystical Religion, 1909, Spiritual Reformers of the Sixteenth and 
Seventeenth Centuries, 19 14, The Quakers in the American 
Colonies, 191 i, and the two volumes of Later Periods of Quaker- 
ism, 192 1 — were written by Rufus Jones. He also wrote introductions 
to the two volumes by William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of 
Quakerism, 191 2, and Second Period of Quakerism, 1919. It was 


the history not only of the Society of Friends but of certain large, 
hitherto almost unexplored areas of mystical religion. 

Some of this edifice is now threatened in the storm of neo-Ortho- 
doxy which is sweeping the Protestant Churches and coloring much 
of today's Quaker thought. Rufus Jones's introductions have been 
omitted from the new edition of W. C. Braithwaite's two volumes 
published in England in 1955 and 1958. His interpretation of Quaker- 
ism as part of a wider mystical movement and his criticism of the 
Calvinistic elements in Barclay's Apology and other early Quaker 
writings are not acceptable to some elements of current thought. 

The Quakers in the American Colonies suffers from lack of 
unity in the writing and from the fact that much new material has 
since been discovered. It contains nevertheless much that cannot 
be easily found elsewhere and it will continue to occupy a secure 
niche for students of Quaker history. 

The two books on mysticism stand unchallenged as important works 
of historical scholarship whether or not they establish the Spiritual 
Reformers as forerunners of the Quaker movement, and the two 
volumes of the Later Periods will not be supplanted, even though the 
interpretation of the period of Quietism therein set forth has been 
questioned by other Quaker historians. 

Rufus Jones identified Quietism, which came into Quaker thought 
through the writings of Madame Guion, Fenelon, and Molinos, with 
passivism and held it responsible for withdrawal from the world, a 
distinctive manner of dress, and the condemnation of sustained thought 
in the meeting for worship as "creaturely activity." While recognizing 
and honoring the number of saintly lives which blossomed in this 
walled garden, he considered it wholly outside the original stream of 
Quakerism. To Howard H. Brinton, however, the period of Quietism 
was a "period of conservatism and consolidation" which exhibited "no 
change in intention" from original Quakerism. He finds Robert Bar- 
clay's position to be half way between the Hegelian idealism which in- 
fluenced Rufus Jones, John Wilhelm Rowntree, William Charles 
Braithwaite, Edward Grubb and others, and the neo-Calvinism of the 

Many histories of Quakerism have been and will be written, but 
it seems unlikely that anyone again will find it necessary to write one 
in seven volumes, or will write even a single volume without drawing 
heavily on this fundamental work of Rufus Jones and William Charles 

With his two later histories — Haverford College: A History and 

"OUR RUFUS" 195 

An Interpretation and Mysticism and Democracy in the English 
Commonwealth — these volumes of the Quaker History constitute 
Rufus Jones's claim to the title of historian which was so frequently 
given him along with those other titles: philosopher, teacher, mystic, 
prophet, social reformer. This may then be a good point at which 
to look at his method and his theory of history. 

The qualities which he saw in William Charles Braithwaite, that 
made him "a historian of a high order," throw light on Rufus Jones's 
conception of the nature of history. They were: "remarkable insight, 
patience in research, fidelity to truth, genuine historical imagination 
and sympathetic understanding of the characters whom he inter- 
preted." It was not by chance that he included that final qualification, 
possibly as the climax in the series. He wrote his own history very 
largely in terms of the individual personalities that spoke for their 
time, or influenced it, or passed on the torch. He did not, however, 
subscribe to the hero theory of history made famous by Carlyle, that 
the great men create times and events. Nor did he believe history to be 
an illustration of economic theory or a series of biographies of civili- 
zations, still less a sterile chronicle of events. 

To him history was "an immense human drama of man's progress." 
"I am convinced that we have not formed the right theory of History," 
he was to write in 1938, "until we see History itself as a spiritual 
drama, moving toward a significant denouement and at the same time 
a process which has meaning and value as it goes on." He did not, 
especially in his later years, accept the Spencerian theory of progress, 
which he characterized as the belief that "evolution was a vast cosmic 
escalator always running and always taking its precious freight in an 
upward direction," but he did believe that "the slow moral gains of the 
ages are saved and accumulated and a steady addition is made to the 
precious store." Though God does not interfere with or interrupt 
the natural course of events, He is visible in history — and so the study 
of history can become one of the pathways to a conviction of His 
reality — as "an Over-Mind working through human minds and re- 
vealing Itself in the sifting and selecting processes that make certain 
ideals victorious." 

It is the injection of man's free will into history that makes the 
drama. "If once we admit that History is the drama of the making 
of man and the seedplot for the growing of a disciplined freedom, we 
have at least one clue to the mystery of the imperfection and the 
evil which dog the upward progress of life." 

He was always aware of the interaction between ideas and their 


social, political and economic environment. He points out that con- 
cepts of sin and atonement vary in accordance with the structure of 
the time. "It was perfectly natural in the period of feudalism to think 
of sin as a debt which must be paid, just as it was equally natural 
to the mind of the Reformation period to dwell upon the sovereignty 
of God and His eternal justice" and so to see sin as disobedience to the 
sovereign will. Thus the rise of the understanding of personality in 
the nineteenth century leads to a view of "salvation as the healing 
of the moral and spiritual diseases of the soul through the communi- 
cation of the life of God to the soul." 

He had no trace of what C. S. Lewis calls "chronological snobbery," 
i.e., the assumption that yesterday's understanding of truth is ipso 
facto inferior to today's. Nor did he on the other hand accept yester- 
day's insights without a careful consideration of the enveloping circum- 
stances in which they came to birth. "History," he wrote in 1904, "is 
the merciless judgment seat where all ideals have been tested and woe 
to him who scorns or ignores the judgments of this tribunal." 

Other books written during this period included three more of his 
stories for young people, St. Paul the Hero, The Story of George 
Fox, and The Boy Jesus; The World Within, which was made up of 
essays published in The Friend (London) and the Homiletic Review, 
and Spiritual Energies for Daily Life, largely composed of essays 
published in The Atlantic Monthly, The Journal of Religion, and 
others. Somehow he had found time to write these pieces full of salty 
humor and sage reflection which set forth one of his basic convictions, 
that out of a conscious relationship with God comes the energy we 
need for our lives. 

Two honorary degrees of LL.D. which especially pleased him came 
within a week of each other in 1922, from the rival Quaker colleges, 
Haverford and Swarthmore. That from Haverford was a complete 
surprise, for it was the first such degree given since 1909 and he had 
not been told of it ahead of time. The citation which accompanied it 
is the one of all his thirteen most often quoted: "an impenitent opti- 
mist who has discovered the secret of perpetual youth and who has 
helped numberless young men to find themselves in finding a faith." 

His optimism was not entirely a matter of temperament, though it 
was natural to him to think each successive Haverford class the "best 
ever," each responsive audience the most significant yet, each moving 
occasion an epoch. He saw too the failures, the discrepancies, the 
limitations that he encountered, and he could sum up a situation with 

"OUR RUFUS" 197 

devastating candor. "That was a new high in lows", he said of one 
meeting, and he lamented to Violet Hodgkin Holdsworth (his old 
friend married John Holdsworth in 1922) "the thinness and in- 
efficiency of our Quakerism" and the "general feeling of ease and 
content and failure to realize that the vitality is diminishing. I was 
never meant for a Jeremiah and here I am doing his role." 

He discarded "the soft optimism" which says, "Dirt is only earth 
in the wrong place. You can conquer any situation if you smile 
enough." In sorrow and frustration he found the "very ground" of his 
optimism: "This dissatisfaction of ours with what is, this endless 
vision of a beyond unattained, of a reach beyond our grasp is the 
supreme mark of our grandeur." His optimism found its roots in his 
firm belief in the perfectibility of man, in the gradual upward prog- 
ress of history, in his expectation of immortality, which rested not on 
arguments but "upon the trustworthy character of the eternal nature 
of things" and "the conservation of moral values." 

The years brought, as years do when one reaches the age when one 
dislikes "to see a new birthday nosing in," their weight of loss. His 
beloved cousin, Charles Jacob, with whom he had traveled abroad in 
1887, died in 191 6, his brother Herbert during the influenza epidemic 
of 191 8, his well-loved cousin Richard M. Jones in 191 7. Laurence 
Rowntree, the only son of John Wilhelm and Connie Rowntree, who 
had felt it to be his duty to volunteer in the British army, was killed 
in action in 191 8. "Over and over again," he wrote to Connie, "I find 
myself back in those summer days when Lowell played with Margaret 
and Laurie by the Silverdale and I learned to love him." 

George Barton, his close and almost life -long friend, was also lost 
to him through the war, though in a different way. To George Barton 
the Quaker peace testimony became untenable in the face of German 
aggression. He not only withdrew from membership in the Society of 
Friends and became a communicant in the Episcopal Church but he 
became a deacon and then an ordained minister. In 1922 he resigned his 
professorship of Biblical Literature at Bryn Mawr after thirty-one 
years of service. There is a draft of an appreciative directors' minute in 
Rufus Jones's handwriting. His turning away from Friends was ac- 
companied by a bitterness which encompassed also the work of the 
American Friends Service Committee, and in a letter to the newspapers 
he made the charge that must have seemed to Rufus Jones the most 
unjust and uncomprehending one possible, that it was established as a 
means of draft-dodging. In subsequent years attempts were made 


from both sides to bridge the gulf that opened between them, but the 
old confidence and companionship were gone. 

During the summers Pendle Hill cottage at South China was a haven 
to which, however often he might be called away, he always re- 
turned with joy. "I have bought a Ford motor car which I propose 
to drive as soon as I can learn how," he wrote to Violet Hodgkin. "I 
hope I shall like it, but I do not take kindly to mechanics." It was 
a relief to all when Mary was old enough to take the wheel of the 
Model T and its successors. 

The story is still told in South China of a professor from Haverford 
and his wife who drove over from Littleton, N. H. where they were 
spending the summer, to see Rufus Jones. At the blacksmith shop 
in the village they stopped and asked where Dr. Jones lived. 

"Dr. Jones?" The smith scratched his head. "There ain't no Dr. 
Jones here." 

Puzzled, they repeated their question and got the same answer 
again. As they started to move away, the man ran after them on the 
spur of a second thought. 

"You don't mean Rufus, do you? He does live here!" 

For his fifty-seventh birthday in 1920 a number of his friends gave 
him a party, and Agnes L. Tierney of Germantown, expressed what 
they all felt in verse so warm and witty that parts of it must be given 

Who is the Pep of Quakerdumb 
And only has to twirl his thumb 
To make his mechanism hum? 
One Rufus! 

Who cracks our sides until we moan 
With tales of people he has known 
"Down East" where funny folks are grown? 
Gay Rufus! 

Who never needs to be too late 
To catch a train and make a date 
Because his stride is five feet eight? 
Fast Rufus! . . . 

Who points the way to heedless youth 
And guides to glimmerings of the Truth 
Their cerebrations so uncouth? 
Prof. Rufus. 

Who rummages among the saints 
And pokes into their self-restraints 

"OUR RUFUS" i 99 

And all their deadly virtues paints? 
Scribe Rufus . . . 

Who hopping round o'er all creation 
To preach and pray or feed a nation 
Shows forth the fruits of consecration? 
Good Rufus! 

Who hath to keep his torch alight 
A wife so clever, wise and right 
She doth to valorous deed incite? 
Her Rufus! 

Who'll take these verses as they're meant 
And recognize their real intent 
To seal a friendly sacrament? 
Our Rufus! 


Athens and the Holy Land 

ij» i^ji !»i c^i r^i <^> r^» — i - ^ ti <i $ * <^r « i^ » «^» « ^ » 

JTor twenty years Rufus Jones had been planning to go to Greece 
and Palestine when he reached the age of sixty. Now his sixtieth birth- 
day was approaching, Bryn Mawr's new president was installed, the 
great A.F.S.C. programs in Germany and Russia were drawing toward 
an end, the Quaker history was finished, Mary was happy in college. 
He decided to take a long-due Sabbatical leave as soon as the first 
semester classes were over in January 1923. 

On the last day of November an accident almost put an end to all 
his plans. He and Elizabeth Jones had been spending Thanksgiving 
with her parents in Moorestown. As they left, Rufus Jones, hurrying 
across the road ahead to hold the trolley-car, failed to see an auto- 
mobile coming toward him on the left. He was struck and thrown 
twenty feet. Even before his horrified wife and her brothers, expecting 
never to see him move again, had rushed to his side, he managed to 
pull himself over to the curb. He was carried into the house. Doctors 
came and pronounced broken bones but no major injuries. The next 
day he was writing reassuringly to Mary, "I think there will be no 
serious results and we can live happily ever after . . . Dearest love 
from thy battle-scarred father." 

X-rays disclosed three broken ribs, a radiating fracture at the top of 
the tibia, torn ligaments, and water on the knee. In a short time he 
was ensconced, his leg in a cast, in a high hospital bed in his study, 
where his students came daily and he taught them, lying fiat on 


his back and though physically a "t.r." feeling "all the time an 
unusual elan." 

The accident had a deep inner meaning for him. Not only did he 
feel, as he told the Meeting in Moorestown the next time that he spoke 
there, that God had saved his life because He had more work for him 
to do, but also he had known a welling up of life and energy akin 
to a mystical experience. In a remarkable article entitled "Why I 
Enroll Among the Mystics," written nine years later, he wrote of this 

"There was no single moment of invasion or of uprush. I discovered 
that a new life and power had come to me without my knowing 
precisely ivhen it came ... I cannot quite date the discovery. But 
it began to dawn upon me that a 'restoration' of another sort had 
gone on. I seemed in a new way to be liberated from fears and anxieties 
and worries. I had entered into an unexpected tranquility and peace. 
More than that I had gained an immense increase of vitality and vis 
viva. Life had become a more joyous and radiant affair than I had 
ever known. I no longer cared anything about arguments to prove 
the reality of God, any more than I did to prove the incomparable 
worth of the human love which surrounded my life as I lay quietly 
recovering ... It has always seemed to me a case of quiet mystical 
receptivity. Spiritual energies of a more or less permanent order 
flowed in and operated, as though God at my fountains far off had 
been raining." 

Only a few days before they were to sail, Elizabeth Jones's father, 
Joel Cadbury, died after an illness, — a man with a "lovely sense of 
humor and a fine bloom of joy," Rufus Jones wrote to Mary, "about 
as good a man as one could be." The next day his wife followed him. 

When Rufus and Elizabeth Jones sailed on the cruise ship, Empress 
of Scotland, on the second of February, they must have been, in spite 
of their happy anticipations, subdued and sorrowful. Rufus Jones, 
moreover, was still on crutches. 

There were stops at Cadiz and Seville, Gibraltar and Algiers, but 
Rufus Jones did little sightseeing, for he was still too lame to enjoy 
it. He read a great deal, steeping himself in the history of Greece, 
preached one Sunday on the boat, "wasted" a day writing an article, 
and shortly before they reached Athens delivered a lecture on Greece 
that filled the passengers with excited anticipation. 

On a glorious morning late in February the ship steamed into the 
Bay of Salamis, and because the sea was too rough to land at Piraeus 


anchored at the very spot where the battle of Salamis was fought 
in 480 B.C. Because of long and exasperating delays in landing, it 
was late afternoon before they could go ashore, but Rufus Jones's 
old friend Augustus Murray, who that year was Director of the 
American School for Classical Studies in Athens, met the Joneses 
with a car and carried them off. 

They went directly to the Acropolis, where Rufus Jones, lame leg, 
stick, and all, was pushed and pulled up the steep steps of the Propylea, 
to stand at last where he had so often stood in imagination. "We saw 
the Parthenon under perfect conditions," he wrote to Mary. "The 
light was wonderful and as the sun dropped the colors on the hills, 
mountains and sea were heavenly. Hymettus was one blaze of glory. 
After we finished seeing the Acrop. we went over to the Areopagus, 
which is quite near, and Gus recited Paul's sermon about the Un- 
known God." 

They spent the night with the Murrays and the next day saw the 
Agora, drove to Kolonos and saw the site of Plato's Academy, visited 
two museums, and returned to the Acropolis. "I can give thee no idea 
of my state of mind while I was in Athens." 

Elizabeth Jones added a note: "Yes, father has been thrilled and I 
think he was not disappointed in anything but more thrilled even 
than he expected. He has found a kindred spirit in a fellow traveller 
named Mr. Coyne, who has detail maps and can tell what happened on 
every spot. He and father stand map in hand and identify each spot 
and then speak as oracles to all inquirers." 

From Athens they went on to Constantinople, to Damascus, where 
their dragoman was the son of one that Uncle Eli had had, to Galilee, 
Ramallah, and Jerusalem. "There was nothing ever like it in my life. 
The weather was perfect except for one awful storm on the Sea of 
Galilee where we came within an inch of being wrecked on the 
rocks by Capernaum. Nazareth was lovely with its hills and flowers. 
We liked Mary's fountain best because it was certainly the spot where 
Mary and Jesus often went to draw water . . . The ride to Ramallah 
. . . was thrilling. We went through Samaria and sat on Joseph's well 
and drank from it . . . We had four days in Jerusalem . . . The most 
uplifting thing is the Mount of Olives. We went there first and saw 
the city from above. We had tea on the Mount with Sir Herbert 
Samuel, the governor of Palestine, called 'High Commissioner' and 
Lady Samuel . . . We were there at sunset. Oh my! We went by 
motor to the Dead Sea down the Jericho Road where the Good 


Samaritan came, then to the Fords of Jordan where the Israelites 
crossed and where Jesus was baptized, and then to old Jericho. What 
a trip! We spent a day in Hebron where Abraham lived and where 
he and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried." 

"Some members of the cruise," his daughter writes, "were surprised 
at his apparent intimacy with a country he had never seen. One 
woman remarked, after he had explained that this was due to a life- 
time of Bible study, 'Why I'd have brought a Bible too if I had 
realized it was about Palestine.' " 

At Cairo, in Shepheard's Hotel, they ran into Rendel Harris and 
Herbert G. Wood, had dinner with them and "talked for three hours 
without a pause for wind." Here also he took time to write an essay, 
"Death as a Spiritual Fact," for the London Friend. "I can only add 
my personal experience," he wrote, "that much which I have done 
in the last twenty years has been done in the conviction that I was 
left here to finish what those dearer to me than life would have been 
doing if they had remained." They took the trip up the Nile to Luxor, 
where they struggled with fatigue, bad food, sickness, dust and horses, 
to which Rufus Jones was still allergic. But he was not to be defeated. 
He donned his wife's veil as a filter, and drove miles through desert 
valleys to the tombs of the kings. 

The following week they were in Rome. St. Peter's, for all its 
glory, once more struck him as inferior to the great Gothic cathedrals 
of York, Chartres, Strasbourg, Westminster. "Mother likes it more 
than I do," he wrote to Mary, "and she thrills over Rome more than 
I do, I think. I see over it to Greece!" If as John Buchan maintained, 
people are either Greek or Roman (and he declared himself to be a 
Roman) Rufus Jones was unquestionably Greek. 

His letters to his daughter, who had grown to be a most satisfactory 
friend and companion, are vivid and enthusiastic, with now and then 
a gem of fatherly advice and concern gleaming among the monuments 
and landscapes. He took great satisfaction in the poems that she was 
writing, and some of them he learned by heart. "If you expect to 
write good poetry you must sound the deeps of the human heart and 
feel the great emotions that make us men. Then you must tell it 
clearly." He followed with interest her doings during the holidays, 
commenting, "I thought Y.M. got skimped. Don't slight thy contact 
with Quaker things. That has made my life more than anything else 
has." He compared the "flappers" on the cruise unfavorably with 
Mary. "We are thrown all the time with American girls who know 


nothing, have no ideas, no historical background and no interests. They 
are certainly pitiable objects — just pegs to hang good clothes on . . . 
Dear Mary, don't forget that sense is a big asset for life — just plain 

They left the cruise at Southampton and went to Oxford, where 
they rented a house on Walton Street. "It is not very elegant or 
swagger but it is comfortable and we are well fed and taken care of 
by a trained butler and his wife, who is an expert cook." Here they 
were joined by Elizabeth's younger sister Emma Cadbury. For the 
next month or six weeks Rufus Jones and his wife worked in the 
Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera libraries on the research for his next 
book, The Church's Debt to Heretics. While in Oxford, too, he 
found a masseur who was able to take the pain and stiffness out of 
his troublesome knee. 

There were many interruptions. "I am so loaded with engagements, 
dinners, teas, walks and other forms of wickedness that I have no 
time to write and to make matters worse I am overwhelmed with 
letters, cables, telegrams which must be answered." 

It was perhaps at this time that an incident occurred which has 
been related by John Wilhelm Rowntree's daughter, Jean. Friends 
in Oxford had arranged a public meeting at which Rufus Jones would 
speak and tea would be served afterwards. In making their plans they 
had underestimated the drawing power of his name. As more and 
more chairs were brought into the room and still people were standing 
at the back, those responsible for supplying the tea began to look 
anxious. Rufus Jones, with his characteristic combination of the 
spiritual and the practical, broke off in the middle of a sentence to 
lean over and say in a low voice to the members of the tea committee 
on the front row, "You can cut the cakes in half," and then resumed 
his discourse without a pause. 

He found time also to see Canterbury for the first time, to attend 
London Yearly Meeting, and to visit old friends at Jordans, York and 
Scalby. In York he was lunching with another of John Wilhelm 
Rowntree's daughters and her husband — Margaret and George 
Crossley — in a restaurant filled with clergymen there for a conference. 
In one of those silences that sometimes occur in crowded places his 
voice rang out: "Well, after you've been in a storm on the Sea of 
Galilee, you begin to understand why people want to get out of small 
boats and walk!" 

Wherever he went he had speeches to make. "I don't believe any- 


body could have thought of another address for me to give, as I spoke 
on almost every occasion and every topic," he wrote to Mary. 

One of the high points of this time in England was his meeting 
with Friedrich von Hiigel, with whom he had corresponded and 
whose books on mysticism had meant so much to him. "It was a 
momentous event in my life," he wrote many years later, "to talk 
freely with this extraordinary man of the matters that meant the most 
to me of anything in the universe, but the most memorable feature 
of the visit came as I was saying good-by. He said to me, 'Before you 
go I want to tell you of the four conditions of life which must be 
fulfilled before anyone can be canonized a saint in my Church.' " The 
four conditions he cited were loyalty to the Faith, heroism, endow- 
ment with powers beyond ordinary human capacities, and radiance. 
"The old philosopher and mystic stood up in front of me, half a 
head taller than I was, and he raised his hands as high in the air as they 
could reach and said: 'They may possibly be wrong about those first 
three conditions, but they are gloriously right about that fourth con- 
dition — a saint must be radiant.'' " 

Much as Rufus Jones enjoyed England, it could not hold him when 
it was haying time in South China, and by the end of June the three 
Joneses were back at their beloved Pendle Hill. There Rufus Jones 
worked three hours a day in his log-cabin study on a series of lectures 
which he was to give at Yale and Oberlin the following spring. As 
usual there was the Fourth of July picnic, of which eggs scrambled 
by Rufus Jones and the hilarious tale that he told about Brother 
Jucundus were traditional features for an ever-widening circle of small 
fry whose adored "Cousin Rufus" he was. The story, which he learned 
from William Charles Braithwaite, as summarized by Mary Hoxie 
Jones, was about a "monk from St. Mary's Abbey in York, who was 
a model Brother for 364 days in the year but on Lady Day slipped 
away from the Abbey to York Fair. Here temptations beset him and 
he could not refuse. Getting thoroughly drunk, Brother Jucundus 
would clamber into a swing-boat and shout at the top of his lungs, 'In 
dulce jubilo! Up, Up, UP we go!' For this serious offense poor 
Brother Jucundus was taken down to the Abbey cellar and walled 
in, with a jug of water, a loaf of bread, and, to bring the Middle Ages 
closer to the Twentieth Century an electric toaster was included. How 
Brother Jucundus weathered this desperate punishment and ended the 
tale as an Abbot, Rufus Jones gave with tremendous flourishes, bring- 
ing in as often as he could the magic refrain, 'In dulce jubilo! Up, Up, 


UP we go!' If he varied so much as a jot or tittle in the telling, a 
child would instantly demand the correct version. Sleepy children 
went home across the fields chanting 'In dulce jubilo' as they went, 
not knowing the meaning of the words but feeling the happiness of 
the moment." 

In his regular sermons at the Friends Meeting House in South 
China, he never failed to remember the children who sat together on 
the front rows under the pulpit. "I don't suppose you children have 
ever heard a sermon about grasshoppers, have you?" he once began, 
and having captured their attention with the story of Joshua and Caleb 
and the ten spies who had a "grasshopper complex," he went on to 
interpret deeper meanings for the grownups. Or he would explain 
the mysterious word Selah, found in the Psalms. "Selah means, It's 
wonderful! Think of that! Think of what has been said!" 

The Church's Debt to Heretics, written largely that autumn and 
published the following year, was an examination of the contributions 
made by heretics to the Christian Church, in stirring it up to sharper 
definitions and in opening up new insights. Among his heretical heroes 
were Pelagius, Abelard, Wyclif, Joan of Arc, Luther, Calvin, and 
George Fox. The book had, Rufus Jones noted, "a very favorable 

The lectures given at the Yale Divinity School and Oberlin School 
of Theology formed the basis for another book published in 1924, 
Fundamental Ends of Life. Most people, he wrote, are concerned 
chiefly with secondary ends, like service and pleasure and profit, in- 
stead of the values which are good in themselves, beauty, love, good- 
ness, truth. He went to Plato, Plotinus, the Gospels, Kant, and 
mystical experience for answers to the question, Why were we born? 
What are we here for? 

The pressure for lectures and articles continued unabated. "I live 
like falling leaves in a constant whirl," he wrote to Mary. "Hither 
and yon I go, always talking like a gab-machine." And again, "I talk 
of quiet and hush and I praise concentration, but I rush about like a 
dervish and act as though the life here below were a mad dash from 
x to y — two unknown points." He traveled from Virginia to Vermont, 
from Boston to California, speaking on mysticism, on George Fox, 
whose tercentenary was celebrated in 1924, on Quakerism. Mt. Hol- 
yoke was now one of the colleges, like Harvard and Bryn Mawr, that 
considered itself entitled to annual talks by him. 

Dean and Mrs. Inge came to visit the Joneses in Haverford, and the 


two mystics spoke on the same program at the Bellevue-Stratf ord Hotel 
in Philadelphia. The story has been widely told — as it has been told of 
many others — that at night the English visitor put his boots outside 
his bedroom door to be blacked and that the American host quietly 
polished them and put them back, but Rufus Jones declared it apoc- 
hryphal. "The true story of Dean Inge's visit may interest you," he 
wrote years later to an inquiring correspondent. "We were hunting for 
our hats and coats in the mazes of a great hotel in Philadelphia after 
his lecture, and he stopped and said with a smile, 'Don't you think we 
had better get a non-mystical person to guide us?' " 


"New Noises, New Calls" 

1 he lectures I am asked to give are the quadrennial lectures of the 
National Council," wrote Rufus Jones to Mary in March, 1926, "and 
they would be before a group of the leading Christians in China 
(mostly natives). They could not have an Englishman or a clergyman 
or a Y.M.C.A. leader. They are all taboo this year. So they turned 
to me ... I should hope if we go that thee would go too." 

That year in China was a more critical one than most people realized 
at the time. The Kuomintang, the creation of Sun Yat-sen, was ex- 
periencing a rebirth after the death of Sun in 1925. Russian Communists 
under Borodin were helping to train Chiang K'ai-shek's armies and 
were shaping Kuomintang policy, stirring up resentment against 
foreign merchants and against Christian schools, churches and hos- 
pitals, which they branded as agents of imperialism. Because of the 
Shanghai Incident of May 30, 1925, when British-commanded police 
fired into a crowd of students demanding release of comrades arrested 
in connection with a strike at a Japanese-owned factory, feeling ran 
especially high against the British. The Y.M.C.A., wishing to cele- 
brate its fortieth anniversary in China with a series of lectures such 
as it had been giving every four years, decided that only a Quaker 
would be neutral enough under existing conditions to be acceptable 
to the Chinese. 

President Comfort urged Rufus Jones to accept the invitation, even 
though it would require his absence from the college during the fall 
semester. The A.F.S.C. and the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings 



supported the proposal enthusiastically. The churches of Philadelphia 
united in giving him a farewell luncheon. "It was amazing to hear 
the things they said," he wrote to Mary, "and I felt as though I was 
at my own funeral listening to it all through a hole in the coffin!" 
He had "an interesting interview" with President Coolidge and re- 
ceived his "personal encouragement," though as he admitted candidly 
to his daughter, he felt that "not much came of it. Anyway I got him 
to talk a lot and we did not sit silent like two woodchucks looking 
at each other." 

After he had delivered the commencement address at Bryn Mawr 
and the baccalaureate sermon at Mt. Holyoke, and had attended 
Mary's graduation ceremonies, the three Joneses sailed from Van- 
couver on the 24th of June. For the only time in his life he kept a 
more or less regular journal, and the account of his experiences, his 
observations and reflections on the changing scene in Asia make 
fascinating and somewhat wry reading, now that it is too late to 
profit by his insights. 

"This is our first day on the Pacific," he wrote on the first page of 
his leather-bound notebook. "It is a new situation with new noises, 
new calls. We must meet the unusual and speak to the age, to the 
eastern mind in fresh and creative ways ... I have seldom ever been 
so penetrated with a deep happiness." 

The long days at sea gave time for reading — Whitehead's Science 
and The Modern World, Scott's Voyage of The Discovery and a 
biography of Robert Louis Stevenson — and for reflection. He thought 
it a pity that the missionaries had brought rationalistic burdens into 
a foreign land. "Instead of putting a constructed system of thought 
down upon them ready made, we ought to give them inspiration and 
spiritual help to build their own faith in conformity with their own 
religious genius. There is no one sacred pattern system of Christianity 
to be imposed or adopted outright. Christianity is all the time being 
built. It needs the genius of Japan, China, and India as much as it 
needed and used the genius of the Hebrews or the Greeks or the 

They spent sixteen days in Japan, crowded days full of interest and 
of beauty, meeting with the small but active group of Japanese 
Quakers in Tokyo and in Ibaragi Prefecture, visiting Nikko, Kama- 
kura, Karuizawa, Kyoto, and Nara, conferring with some of the 
Japanese leaders. They saw the little group of houses erected by the 
A.F.S.C. after the earthquake of 1923, and marvelled at the vitality 


of the nation which could pull itself together after so sweeping a 
disaster and rebuild so swiftly. A nation can recover from destruction 
of its external wealth, he reflected, and rebuild. "But if you destroy 
their fundamental sources of life, the fertility of the soil, the vitality 
of the climate, the nation suffers a hopeless collapse, as occurred to 
Greece in the fourth century." He then made the application from 
the outward to the inward, as he was so fond of doing, "Its deepest 
life, its truest vitality are to be found in the moral subsoil of a people, 
in the moral and spiritual ideals of the rank and file." These words, 
little changed, he incorporated later in his lectures in China. 

One of the most interesting experiences that he had in Japan was 
the dinner given for him by Viscount Shibusawa. "He is 87 years 
old, a type of man like Charles W. Eliot, interested in the best con- 
structive lines of thought and action," he wrote to Wilbur Thomas. 
"The banquet was attended by some of the foremost scholars and 
leaders in the country. The topic for the occasion was on interna- 
tional relations and I spoke of the fundamental basis of a new and 
better civilization. My reception was generous and hearty and I had 
about an hour of personal and intimate conversation with the Vis- 
count on the future relations between Japan and America." In his 
Journal, he recorded some of that personal conversation: "He talked 
with utmost frankness of the deep wound which our exclusion laws 
had given him, the discouragement it had brought to his hopes, but of 
his strong faith in the fairness and ideal spirit of the American people." 

"I have quite lost my heart to Japan," he wrote as they left, "and 
want very much to have a longer visit there sometime." 

Sailing from Kobe on a small Japanese ship, the only foreign pas- 
sengers, they made their way through the fairy-like beauty of the 
Inland Sea and across the Yellow Sea to Tsing-tao on the southern 
side of the Shantung Peninsula. 

Here they encountered a serious problem, an epidemic of cholera 
spreading from Shanghai. Should they all be inoculated with the 
new serum? It was an agonizing decision for Rufus Jones, who re- 
membered only too vividly the aftermath of the anti-diphtheria serum 
which had been given to Lowell, but he decided in favor of the 
inoculation and they all remained well. 

Elizabeth Jones and Mary stayed with friends in a summer colony 
of missionaries on a point of land jutting into Kiaochow Bay near 
Tsing-tao, while Rufus Jones went on to the Y.M.C.A. Conference at 


Tsinan, the Capital of Shantung Province, twelve hours distant by 
express train. 

Five hundred Chinese Christians and about thirty American and 
English Y.M.C.A. secretaries and missionaries met in the University 
of Shantung, one of the largest of the union universities in China. 
The August days were stiflingly hot and the nights even worse. 
Rufus Jones found lecturing with an interpreter difficult at first, 
tripped up as he was at every paragraph to wait for the halting de- 
livery of unintelligible Chinese words, but after the second lecture he 
got a more fluent interpreter and things went better. In his six lectures 
he presented Christianity not as a set of dogmas at war with modern 
scientific thought, but as "a way of life and a religion of the spirit," 
and he met here as throughout China a warm and even eager re- 
sponse. The lectures were later published by the Association Press 
in Shanghai in a little book entitled Religion and Life, which con- 
tains in brief and simple form most of the basic ideas upon which the 
whole structure of his philosophy was built. 

On the day of his final lecture they gave him a great dinner party, 
planned without any reference to the fact that he had been on a re- 
stricted diet for years. "We had more than 30 different dishes of 
food, including the famous sea-slugs, bird's nest, shantung duck, lotus 
seeds and all the rest of Chinese delicacies. It was immense and amaz- 
ing! I ate something of each thing, all with chop-sticks — and I lived 
through the night." 

After the Conference he had expected to have his wife and daughter 
join him, but a storm had washed out the railroad tracks between 
Tsing-tao and Tsinan, and so he had to go on alone, greatly disap- 
pointed, to his next engagement. 

The Nationalist armies under Chiang K'ai-shek were marching 
northward against the northern leader Wu P'ei-fu, but news was 
vague and indefinite. "As to the fighting," Elizabeth Jones wrote to her 
brothers at home, "I can make nothing out of the reports and most 
persons seem to regard it chiefly as an inconvenience. In the papers 
here however we read of the N.Y. subway strikes and difficulties 
in Mexico, the prolonged coal strike in England and the revolt in 
South Russia." 

Of the forty Chinese Christian leaders who had been expected to 
take part in the Retreat on Tai-shan, only eight actually got there. 
With eight Westerners, it was a party of sixteen who started up the 
long climb on August 12th. Tai-shan was the oldest and most famous 


of the five "sacred mountains" of China — a five-thousand foot peak 
with a Gate of Hell at the bottom and a Gate of Heaven at the top, 
and six thousand ancient granite steps in between. The members of 
the party were carried in chairs by coolies to the houses half way 
up, where the Retreat was to be held, but Rufus Jones, not liking to 
be carried by his fellow human beings, walked most of the way on his 
own feet. 

He rejoiced in the presence of Henry T. Hodgkin, a cousin of 
Violet Hodgkin, and one of the founders of the Fellowship of Re- 
conciliation, now in China as Secretary of the National Christian 
Council. Of the entire group only Rufus Jones and Mrs. Wilmot D. 
Boone of the Presbyterian Mission were able to milk the goats which 
were their entire source of milk, and for the rest of his life he would 
laugh about it reminiscently, with pride in the accomplishment. 

They studied fundamental Christian problems in the mornings — 
Rufus Jones guided the group through the five great historical con- 
ceptions of Christ — and practical Christian problems in China in the 
evenings, and in the afternoons they explored the mountain, to which 
pilgrims had been coming for more than five thousand years. One day 
they made the climb to the top, and in the temple of Confucius there 
Rufus Jones discussed the nature of authority in religion. 

"We are having a happy time and it is a good group," he wrote to 
his wife, "but I hardly see how the conference can prove to be an 
epoch. There is not enough unity and coherence to it and no one has 
quite clear enough vision of what Chinese Christianity ought to be 
or do." Later, however, he recorded in his Journal that he felt it 
was even more important than the big Conference in Tsinan. 

After the Retreat was over he had to make a three-and-a-half hour 
train journey from the foot of Tai-shan to Tsinan, where he was 
eagerly looking forward to being reunited with his family. It was a 
very hot day. Hungry and thirsty after his descent of the mountain, 
he was aghast to find the train crowded to the steps. Down the track 
he saw an open freight-car, and with William Hung, dean of Yenching 
University, he hurried to it and climbed in. Also in the car were a 
hundred coolies in loin cloths and three soldiers with guns. 

As the train toiled over the plain in the broiling sun, Rufus Jones 
set about making friends with his fellow passengers. Opening his 
umbrella, he shared its shade with one coolie after another, nodding 
and smiling to show his good will. After a while, one of the soldiers 
gave him a bowl of bean soup from a thermos and another a cup of 


tea, and he drank them for the fellowship, trusting that the heat would 
kill the germs. Later he learned that the coolies were taking fifty 
boxes each containing a thousand silver dollars to their war lord and 
the soldiers were guarding them. 

The next three weeks the three Joneses spent in Peking, where 
they were lodged in the Yenching School of Christian Studies. Martial 
law was declared while they were there and plans changed from day 
to day because of troop movements, but they suffered no inconven- 
ience except being obliged to abandon their hope of seeing the Great 
Wall. The first week, while the university was still having vacation, 
was given up to sightseeing; after that Rufus Jones had sixteen long 
discussion meetings in fourteen days with a variety of groups, as 
well as many luncheon and dinner parties and personal conferences. 
Wellington Koo gave a luncheon for him, at which he met most of 
the members of the Chinese cabinet and three ex-premiers. 

He found the neglect of the great Temple of Heaven sad, but, he 
wrote in his Journal, "still sadder is the political collapse everywhere 
apparent in this vast empire-republic. The functions of government 
are in large measure suspended. I have had most important conversa- 
tions with our U S. Minister McMurray, our Commissioner, Silas 
Strawn, and the first secretary of the legation, Mr. Peck. They all 
began their labors over here with idealism and with a sympathetic 
desire to serve China, but they seem at the moment extremely pes- 
simistic. They see no hope of a stable, dependable government being 
formed, they find no existing courts or system of legal procedure that 
would insure fairness and justice either for Chinese or foreigners. 
They have told me tales of corruptions and of the perversion of 
justice which discourage the most loyal friends of China . . . Thii 
deep pessimism has been bred in this generous and fairspirited Ameri- 
can citizen (Strawn) by nine months of contact with politicians and 
grafters. My dealings have been with scholars and broad-minded 
Christian leaders who are among the best men I have ever met." 

Four days later, after he had had a long talk with Dr. W. W. Yen, 
ex-Premier, sound scholar, and public man of distinction, he recorded 
the Oriental point of view. After paying tribute to Americans, W. 
W. Yen complained that the diplomats wanted to see immediate re- 
sults. "They do not understand the oriental habits of mind. They 
bring the atmosphere of Wall St. and American hurry. They are not 
willing to wait for slow developments, for postponements, for the 
leisurely and evasive methods. They lose their idealism and are im- 


patient and grow critical . . . Dr. Yen is very fearful of the economic 
encroachment of Japan ... I asked Dr. Yen what he thought would 
be the effect of Russian influence, he said the Russian emissaries had 
roused the students to their pitch of opposition to foreign influence 
and to a revolt against capitalism and that they had trained the armies 
but he believed there was no likelihood that China would ever adopt 
Communism . . . The young and irresponsible students might shout 
for it and the factory labor unions might call for it but that the 
movement would collapse as soon as it struck the stone wall of rural 

Because of fighting in Hankow, they went from Tientsin, where 
Rufus Jones had ten meetings in four days, to Nanking and thence 
to Shanghai, where Elizabeth Jones read proof on the forthcoming 
book, Faith and Practice of the Quakers, and Rufus Jones addressed 
twenty-three meetings and conferences, answering the questions of 
non-Christian and anti-Christian as well as Christian students, includ- 
ing such challenges as: "Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born 
of Miss Mary without any husband?" 

"Most of the Chinese students expect science to answer all their 
problems. Where they are anti-religious it is usually because they 
identify religion and superstition and believe both to be incompatible 
with science. They have almost no conception of the deeper issues 
of life. They have little training in Aesthetics, Ethics, Philosophy or 
the philosophical basis of religion. Science is for them the one way 
to truth and reality . . . The same old difficulty turns up here that 
meets one at home. The class-room presents a materialistic universe 
and the religious teacher is supposed to correct the picture in some 
tour-de-force lectures or sermons. . . . The missionairies have un- 
fortunately too often presented a type of Christianity at sharp vari- 
ance with modern science and when that is rejected, as it is by most 
students, there is no one to interpret the deeper and truer aspects of 
Christian faith . . . China desperately needs a live religion, dynamic 
enough to control personal character and to rebuild the moral and 
social habits of the people. This is what Christianity should be doing." 

In Hong Kong, to which they went by boat from Shanghai, he 
talked with the British Colonial Secretary, who asked him questions 
about what he had learned from his contacts with the Chinese. In 
regard to the general hostility to Great Britain, Rufus Jones said, "I 
often asked them why they were so deeply antagonistic to the British 
and the answer usually given was the superior attitude of the English 


and their exclusive manners. They never recognize us in the street. 
They never remember us after they are introduced to us, was the 
comment. High-handed ways of dealing with the Chinese throughout 
the entire imperial period was almost [always] referred to, with espe- 
cial emphasis on the opium policy past and present and above all 
upon the shooting in Shanghai and Canton and just now the Wanshien 

The Englishman defended British action, saying that "the Chinese 
were cruel, unreasonable, inefficient and only partially civilized and 
therefore not to be treated as on the same plain [sic] as those who 
came among them from Europe. I told him that whatever might be 
the impartial facts about the status of civilization we must all realize 
that we are confronted in China with a very significant state of mind 
that must now be faced squarely and be dealt with adequately. The 
Chinese believe that they have a superior type of civilization, far more 
ancient than that of any existent nation. They are proud and self- 
conscious. They feel the outrage of being treated as below the dignity 
and standing of any other nation. They are forced to have their tariff 
dictated by other powers. Their rivers and inland waters are patrolled 
by the gunboats of other powers. They are forced to grant humiliat- 
ing concessions and they are subjected daily to attitudes and manners 
that are designed to keep them humble and subject. I concluded by 
saying that it was my impression that there would never be peace 
and settled order in China until that mental state was altered and a 
new psychological state created. I told him that gunboats would not 
change that. He took full notes and said, 'This is all very important. 
I want you to go with me and tell the Governor General what you 
have told me.' Unfortunately I had no free time before sailing." 

After a little more than a week in Canton, visiting Elizabeth Jones's 
brother, Dr. William Cadbury, who was at Lingnan University Hos- 
pital, they sailed for Colombo. They had been in China for three 
months and a day, Rufus Jones had given one hundred and fifteen 
addresses, he had attended many forty-course dinners, and had lost 
ten pounds. In a time when anti-foreign and anti-Christian feeling had 
reached a peak, he had been welcomed and heard everywhere. "Talk 
about open doors!" he wrote. "The hinges were off and the doors 
gone. I could have kept up my meetings at the same pace for six 
months more." 

To Wilbur Thomas he summed up his experience in these words: 
"With all the upsets, military battles, floods, bandits, strikes and other 


obstacles I have never missed an engagement or failed to be at an ap- 
pointed meeting. I have not been ill for a single hour and that seems 
nearly miraculous. I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving that it could 
all have happened and I feel that an invisible Divine Hand has all the 
time opened the way and led me on." 

The three weeks spent mostly at sea between Hongkong and Madras 
gave him time for a much needed rest. He prepared for India by 
reading Pratt's Faiths of India and Mukerji's My Brother's Face, and 
for Manila by reading Frank Laubach's The People of the Philip- 
pines. During the very crowded day and a half which they spent in 
Manila, he had time to meet and talk with students and to form 
an impression of them. After meeting Dr. Laubach's class in Sociology 
at the University, he wrote in his Journal that the students were "in- 
tense patriots and to a person are heart and soul for independence. 
I have never seen, not even in Canton, such passion for self-govern- 
ment and national independence ... At 9: 30 I addressed the students 
of the Elementary and the High School jointly. There were about 400, 
half women. They were quick as a flash to catch my points and any 
touches of humor. It was another world from China. Every face was 
alert and full of life. They are much more wide awake and immensely 
quicker and much more religious in nature and spirit." Talks not only 
with the students but with faculty members and Y.M.C.A. leaders, 
led him to the conclusion: "I profoundly hope we shall not triffle [sic] 
with these remarkable people, that we shall not embitter them or spoil 
our own chance of doing one of the finest deeds in history." 

Penang, Singapore, and four wonderful days in Ceylon were beads 
on the string that led to Madras. There he went to a Meeting for 
Worship with about twenty-five Friends, and had his first encounters 
with Indian students, whom also he found very different from the 
Chinese. The Indian student was "speculative, idealistic, mystic- 
minded and often a religious devotee." Caring less for science than for 
language and literature, he was eagerly patriotic and nationalistic, and 
thirsting for independence. "They are touchy, easily offended and 
move in an inner world quite unlike that of the American student. 
It is not easy to talk to them on religion for religion means something 
entirely different from what it means to me. The chasm between 
classes (casts) [sic] makes it hard to deal with my familiar ideas of 
fellowship and friendliness." 

Travelling in India they found different from any previous experi- 
ence, and they made an unusual concession to the difficulties. "I took 


a 'servant' in India," Rufus Jones confessed to Wilbur Thomas, "and 
now I am forever spoiled for travelling without one. We had a perfect 
jewel of a servant who did everything for us both on trains and in 
hotels. Neither trains nor hotels have any bedding or any 'service.' " 

In Calcutta, Benares, Allahabad, Delhi, Rufus Jones met Friends 
and misisonaries and university people; he studied India and the 
Indians. The poverty of the people, the ignorance of the priests, the 
low level of temple religion, the "fixed" and "set" minds of the audi- 
ences he met, troubled and depressed him. He was deeply stirred by 
the sight of the Ganges and its crowds, and his spirits were lifted by 
the visit to Sarnath, near Benares, where they saw the Stupa, the 
Asoka pillar and the excavated ruins of the monastery on the spot 
where Buddha began his preaching. "He seems to me," he wrote, 
"with all the errors of his thinking and his practices the person next 
to Christ among the great revealers and the one who besides the 
Galilean most clearly reveals and lives love and tenderness as a way 
of life." 

Of the Taj Mahal he wrote, "Only a few times in one's earthly life 
is [one] given to see absolute perfection and when one of these ex- 
periences comes it is well to be moved . . . Never, except in the 
Parthenon, have I felt in the same way the marvelous power of form 
. . . The Parthenon in its full glory had the advantage of movement 
and action in the life-like friezes and consequently it expressed the 
joy and power of Greek life. Here there is the calm that fits Indian 
life. It is perfect beauty in repose." 

But the high point of his visit to India was his meeting with Gandhi. 
Soon after he knew that he was going to make the trip to the East, he 
had written to Gandhi asking if he might see him. The letter, in its 
largeness of spirit, its combination of humility and confidence, is one 
of his most characteristic writings. After explaining his misson to 
China he went on to say: 

"I deeply desire to see you. It has been on my mind long before 
the opportunity for this visit to India came. I know that you want 
to be quiet and that you ought not to be disturbed. But I am not 
coming as a tourist or out of curiosity. I am coming as a friend and 
as one who will be greatly helped by a contact with you at this 
crucial time when our main business is building a real spiritual civiliza- 
tion." He told the story of St. Louis and Brother Giles, from the 
Little Flowers of St. Francis, how they had met and embraced and 
Louis had gone away again without saying anything, and how the 


brothers had protested afterwards. " 'We did not need to talk,' Giles 
replied. 'I read his heart and he read mine.' I feel sure that you and I 
could have a visit like that, though I hope that we should talk a little 
too." He had enclosed with his letter a letter of introduction from 
John Haynes Holmes. At Tientsin a postal from Gandhi had caught 
up with him, inviting him to come to Sabarmati. 

The Ashram 
Sabarmati, 28-5-26 
"Dear Friend," was the typewritten message, signed in pencil, "I 
have your letter enclosing Dr. Holmes' letter. I shall be pleased to meet 
you whenever you come. However busy I may be, I know that I am 
by no means so much rushed as people in America are. I have therefore 
always time to meet friends like you. 

Yours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi." 

Gandhi was at this time fifty-seven years old. It was for him a time 
of quiet and retirement between two periods of intense activity. Be- 
hind him were the great campaign of non-violent civil disobedience 
which he had led, twenty-two months of imprisoment served out of a 
six-year sentence, and a three-week fast for the purpose of fostering 
Hindu-Moslem unity, which was recognized to have been a failure. 
Before him were the Great Salt March of 1929 and the Round Table 
Conference of 193 1 . He had withdrawn to his ashram at Sabarmati, on 
the opposite side of the Sabarmati River from the city of Ahmedabad. 
Some said that his influence was waning, that the students were disil- 
lusioned because he could not show practical results, but to the mass 
of the Indian population he was already Bapu, father, and to many he 
was a god. In his retirement he was besieged by inquiring, seeking, 
adoring visitors from all over the world. 

Louis Fischer in his Gandhi: His Life and Message for the 
World, describes the ashram in these words: "The ashram consisted 
of a group of low, white-washed huts in a grove of spreading trees. 
Below the compound is the river in which women pound their 
laundry on the flat stones and cows and buffaloes wade. All around, 
the scene is gently pastoral but near by are twisted masses of closely 
packed slum dwellings huddling under the ugly smokestacks of the 
Ahmedabad textile factories whose owners financed the ashram . . . 
The population of the settlement fluctuated from 30 at the start to 
230 at its maximum. They tended the fruit trees, spun, wove, planted 
grain, prayed, studied, and taught in the surrounding villages." 


When the three Joneses arrived at the ashram, by car from Ahmeda- 
bad, on the morning of December first, they were met by one of the 
"brothers," who, explaining that Gandhi was busy at the moment, 
took them on a tour of the settlement. At ten they were escorted to 
Gandhi's simple hut. Rufus Jones's unpublished Journal tells the story 
from there: 

"A large number of native guests from the other parts of India 
were having an interview to discuss the problems of their sections with 
their chief. They all withdrew as we came in and we had our simple 
introduction. Gandhi was sitting on a small matrass [sic] with a pillow 
at his back. He does all his work sitting on the floor this way with a 
little table in front of him. He wore a simple one piece cotton cloth 
draped over his body but much of the body showed through and re- 
vealed his tiny, thin, physical structure in which the wonderful spirit 
has its habitation. His feet were in sight and he played with his toes 
with his pencil, somewhat as one plays with a watchchain as he talks. 

"He went on for a few minutes talking with his secretary and asked 
us to excuse him while he finished some business which had to be at- 
tended to. It gave me a good chance to study his face and head. His 
hair is closely cut and is turning iron gray. He has lost his lower front 
teeth and the gap is a good deal in evidence. The face is full of light 
and his smile which comes often is very fine and full of charm and 
gentleness. In fact, his face well fits his character and his life history 
. . . He has consumed his smoke and translated his struggles into quiet 
strength of character and inward depth. A child would instantly feel 
at home with him and would run to him with perfect trust and con- 

"He made us feel at ease at once when he turned and began to wel- 
come our visit ... I asked him whether after all his experiences of 
the difficulties of life and the complications of society he still felt 
that the way of love and gentleness would work. Yes, he said, it 
works better than anything else will. It has become the deepest faith 
of my being. It is built all through me — and he waved his hand grace- 
fully over his little body — and nothing now can happen that will 
destroy my faith in that principle . . . 

"I asked how much he owed his way of life to the influence of 
Christ and especially to the crucifixion. He replied very simply that 
so far as he was positively conscious there was very little direct Chris- 
tian influence but that the indirect and unconscious influence might 
well be an important factor. He went on then to relate his contacts 
with Christianity. He began with a hostile attitude toward it, for he 


supposed that to be a Christian meant to drink whiskey, to smoke a 
big black cigar and to eat beef. At the time he went to England he 
still held these crude views of Christianity. He made friends who were 
Christians and slowly discovered some of the deeper aspects of the 
Christian life. A friend gave him a Bible to read and he began at 
Genesis reading straight on but much confused about what it all 
meant, until he got to Leviticus where he revolted and gave up his 
reading, quite disillusioned in regard to the Bible. It was only in 1893 
that he came upon the N.T. and learned to love the Sermon on the 
Mount and the story of [the] Cross. His reading of the N.T. has been 
frequent ever since and he reads it aloud and interprets it every Sat. 
to the students of Ahmedabad University which is his creation. The 
dear 'brother' who took us about said, We all read the N.T. and we 
all love the Sermon on the Mount. 

"I asked Gandhi if he knew much about Quakerism and he said 
that he knew little about it except what he got from his intimate 
friend Coates who was a Quaker. He has apparently read almost 
nothing of our Quaker books and seemed to know little of Geo. Fox 
or John Woolman. I told him about our child-feeding in Germany 
after the war and he was interested in the expression of love and good 
will but he asked no questions and did not show much keenness of 
interest in it, I thought. 

"I asked him if he had read the Little Flowers of St. Francis and he 
said he had not. I reminded him that in my first letter to him I had 
told the story of Brother Giles and St. Louis and he smiled beautifully 
and said that he remembered the story. He said that Hindu religion 
and literature was quite full of the principle of love and sacrifice and 
that his own faith in love as a way of life was born out of native 
sources rather than foreign sources, though he admitted the uncon- 
scious influences might have been much greater than he knew. He told 
me that a friend of mine had come to see him the day before and was 
still there, someone named Harrison. He sent out for him and I found 
that it was Tom Harrison who was spending two days in the brother- 
hood and speaking in the University." 

Thomas Q. Harrison was a young man who had been a part-time 
Field Secretary for the Peace Section of the A.F.S.C. and in 1925 
and the early part of 1926 had visited many American schools and 
colleges to speak on peace. Now on a trip around the world he was 
continuing his talks to students wherever he went. 

"Gandhi's supreme interest is the reformation of India," the Journal 


continues, "the building of the new India. His ideals are all for prac- 
tical ends. I felt throughout our conversation that he was profoundly 
Hindu. His interests are not very keen beyond this boundary line. 
His religion is saturated with Hindu color and he clings even to the 
outgrown superstition of his racial religion. The Gita is his sacred 
book. I expressed my regret to the brother who was my guide that the 
temple worship seemed so low and poor, expressing the feeling that 
it seemed too bad to encourage these types of religion. He said there 
are many rivers and all carry refreshing waters . . ." 

Summing up the impression that Gandhi made upon him, he wrote: 
"Gandhi's simplicity is as natural as everything else about his life. 
There is no pose in his nature. He is thoroughly unspoiled and the 
most satisfactory thing about my visit was the conviction I brought 
away that here was a man who had attracted the attention of the 
whole world, a man who had controlled the thoughts of millions and 
influenced the destiny of an empire and who was still sincere and 
simple and unspoiled. It is the last test of greatness and nobility of 
soul. I was sorry to discover that Gandhi lacked the wider universal 
interests which are obviously lacking in him. He is first, last, and al- 
ways Hindu. He has very little of that universal mystical experience 
which is the ground and basis of a really universal spiritual religion. 
He is not quite the prophet type. In that respect he seems to me to 
belong to a lower type than St. Francis. In his own sphere, however, 
he is an extraordinarily great man and a beautiful character — a lover 
of men and an unselfish spirit. It is fine to have seen him just after the 
Taj Mahal. They are the greatest sights to see in India!" 

He had also a practical matter to discuss with Gandhi. At the Re- 
treat on Tai-shan he had suggested that it would be a wonderful thing 
if Gandhi could visit China, believing that the Chinese mind would 
respond more easily to another Oriental than to a westerner, and the 
idea had been eagerly taken up. Rufus Jones was therefore the bearer 
of a definite invitation, and Gandhi expressed real interest in the 

"Gandhi discussed at considerable length with me his proposed 
visit to China next summer and asked me in detail about my visit, my 
lectures, and my impression of China. He was especially keen to know 
about interpreters and the necessity of translation. I spent considerable 
time telling him the general situation and the state of religion in China. 
He seemed greatly interested in the prospect of a visit to China and 
he will go if the way opens for his journey." 


The way never opened, evidently, for the visit never came about. 
It is interesting to speculate what might have been the effect on both 
China and India, if it had. 

When the talk with Gandhi was over, the Brother who had been 
their guide earlier, "a most lovable and spiritual man," escorted them 
back to the car, and with Thomas Harrison they stopped for a few 
minutes at the University. 

The memory of his visit to Gandhi stayed always green in Rufus 
Jones's heart. His later writings, books, articles, speeches, and sermons 
contain references to the Hindu saint, and always in terms of his 
personality. In 1944, Rufus Jones wrote in the Friends Intelligencer 
that he considered Gandhi "the greatest person now living on our 
planet," and two years later, in his Luminous Trail, he gave him 
the highest praise that he had to give: "When I talked with Mahatma 
Gandhi he made me think of Lowell [i.e. his son] It was the same 
simple, naturally loving spirit in both of them." 

There were ten more days in India after the visit to Gandhi, days 
in which he visited Quaker projects and gave lectures to some large 
groups, one a lecture on Mysticism before the Philosophical Society 
in Nagpur. He left India, he wrote, "with a certain sense of depres- 
sion." After paying tribute to the many fine people whom he had 
met, "well-rounded and spiritually organized," he went on to say 
that he did not find "the inward depth of life I expected to find in 
India nor do I discover as much moral and spiritual earnestness as I 
looked for. The Hindu popular religion shocks me and revolts me . . . 
The mystical religion which I assumed to be an inherent part of Indian 
life and thought is not much in evidence and has little to commend it. 
India possesses methods of meditation and a technique of concentra- 
tion which are worthy of careful consideration but they do not ap- 
pear to produce much spiritual fruit in the way of enhanced personal 
quality or social constructive energy . . . They claim that India's con- 
tribution has been metaphysical and rational and not intuitive and 
in the way of vision. They call for speculative work not mystical 
experience ... I see nowhere any sign of a live mystical interest or a 
present mystical movement in India, using the word mysticism in the 
western sense of an immediate personal discovery of God . . . The 
doctrine of Karma expressed through transmigration is a view that 
blights everything it touches. It counts the universe to be just, but it 
makes life in a world of pitiless justice a dark and hopeless affair. It is 


a land of shadows as compared with the geniality of China and the 
gaiety of Japan." 

After 1926, nevertheless, one sees ideas that stem from his Indian 
experience entering into his books, and perhaps he himself would 
consider that his truest summing up of Indian religious and philosophic 
thought was not what he wrote in his Journal while he was still in 
that country, but what he said at the end of his book, New Studies in 
Mystical Religion, published in 1927: 

"Perhaps some day we in the west will learn the secret which India 
has always possessed — that the soul is the eternally important fact and 
its testimony the ground of all truth." 

Christmas that year they spent in Ramallah at the Friends School, 
where the library in memory of Lowell still sheltered happy children. 
They went to the Shepherds' Field near Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, 
an experience which became a wonderful memory. Rufus Jones de- 
scribed it later in his Christmas story called "The Shepherd Who 
Missed the Manger." 

"Here on this memorable night we ate our modern sandwiches and 
drank hot coffee out of thermos bottles, which Moses with his manna 
and quails never dreamed of. We sat under rustling olive trees and 
watched the sun sink over the Plains of Sharon and seem to fall into the 
Mediterranean beyond ... In a little while the entire sky from the 
Mount of Olives in the East to the Great Sea in the West was filled 
with what looked like Seraphim, with outspread wings; for as every- 
body, I hope, knows the Seraphim, which are the highest order of 
angelic beings, are red — burning with love. And in between the red 
Seraphim were blue spaces which it was easy to imagine were Cheru- 
bim, for, as everybody knows, I am sure, Cherubim are always blue, 
and are the supreme knowers, 'the great Intelligences', beholding the 
truth with their minds. Here just above our heads, on the Shepherds' 
Field, on Christmas Eve, was a sky full of what looked to us like 
Seraphim and Cherubim. We beheld it with awe and wonder, and 
though we heard no words from above, we said in our hearts 'Glory 
to God in the highest.' And under the spell of what we had seen, we 
silently climbed the hill to hear the midnight Christmas Service in the 
Church of the Nativity. Perhaps not twice in a thousand years would 
there come a sky like that — and we were there the night it came!" 


The Orient Again 

In 1928, as a step in the reorganization of the A.F.S.C. Rufus Jones 
retired from the Chairmanship of the Board. The reorganization had 
been started late in 1924, when the work of relief following World 
War I seemed to have come to an end, and the Committee held a 
special meeting to make the vital decision whether, as a temporary 
emergency committee, to disband, or to continue as a permanent or- 
ganization. At that time, Rufus Jones had said: 

"For somewhat over seven years this Committee has been laboring 
to relieve human suffering, to open avenues of service for our Young 
Friends and to interpret Christ's way of life to the world today. God 
has enabled us to accomplish far more than our hearts dreamed of in 
those agonizing days when we began our work. We have often felt, 
I am sure, a strange sense of awe as we have seen the way the hand of 
God has led us forth and opened doors before us. The past is secure. 

"It is extremely important that we should make no mistake about our 
future course. We should not go on unless we are sure that we have 
a vital mission to perform nor unless we can speak and act for the 
corporate membership of the Society of Friends. I do not want to see 
us go out and hunt for tasks to keep our machinery going; but if there 
are tasks lying clearly at our door — God-given tasks which we can do 
better than anybody else can — let us then once more say, 'Yes, send 
us to the work, and anoint us for it.' " 

Among the tasks that immediately revealed themselves were con- 



cern for better interracial relationships, "not by conferences and res- 
olution, not by starting new institutions or managing old ones, but by 
quietly forming new contacts, bringing peoples together in friendly 
groups and practising the spirit and ideals of our way of life," and the 
work of interpreting "our peace ideals and spirit to our own member- 
ship and to those who are near and kindred to us in spirit." 

The decision having been made to continue the Committee, it was 
set up in four sections: Foreign, Interracial, Peace, and Home Service. 
The Home Service Section continued the work for miners already 
begun in 1922 when the mining industry suffered from economic de- 
pression and labor strife. 

Though Rufus Jones, three months after his resignation, was made 
Honorary Chairman and was never out of the councils of the Com- 
mittee, he turned the reins of actual leadership over to Henry J. Cad- 
bury, who had succeeded him. In 1929 Wilbur Thomas also resigned, 
and with the appointment of Clarence E. Pickett as executive secre- 
tary, the A.F.S.C. started on a new phase of work. 

Forty-one years old in 1929, Clarence Pickett brought to the Serv- 
ice Committee a gentle, purposive and shining personality and half a 
lifetime of Quaker service, through which he had come to focus his 
attention on "the social application of religious faith." He had grown 
up on a farm in Kansas, studied at Penn College and at Hartford 
Theological Seminary, had been pastor of a Friends Meeting in To- 
ronto, and secretary of the Young Friends Movement. At the time 
when he was called to the A.F.S.C. he was professor of Bible at 
Earlham College. 

He first appears in Rufus Jones's correspondence in 191 2, in a letter 
from John Hoyland, a young English Friend who was then in the 
United States. With the help and encouragement of Rufus Jones, a 
team of young Friends, including John Hoyland, Corder Catchpool, 
Elizabeth Fox Howard and others, had come from England and with 
a group of young American Friends were visiting meetings over 
the country in the interests of Quaker unity. John Hoyland met Clar- 
ence Pickett at Hartford, where he was then studying, and at once 
conceived a plan to get him to England that summer, to visit Wood- 
brooke and engage in young Friends activities. John Hoyland turned 
to Rufus Jones for help. "Does thou think it [i.e. money for passage] 
could be raised anywhere?" he inquired. Rufus Jones responded by 
calling on the generous and dependable T. Wistar Brown, and after 
that Clarence Pickett was one of the many younger men who were 


drawn into Rufus Jones's orbit and whose lives later showed the con- 
tagion of his spirit. 

From 1929 until Rufus Jones's death, he and Clarence Pickett were 
to be closely associated in the work of the A.F.S.C. Again and again 
the two went together to confer quietly with people in key positions, 
to ask for aid in opening new services in sensitive situations, or, on the 
other hand, to be asked if the Committee could undertake some 
venture in areas of human relations where only a body known to be 
impartial and compassionate would be received. In 193 1 at the sug- 
gestion of Herbert Hoover, then President of the United States, the 
Committee undertook the feeding of undernourished and tuberculo- 
sis children of miners in the coal fields of West Virginia and Pennsyl- 
vania, beginning with the sum of $225,000 which Mr. Hoover made 
available to them. 

The lifting of the burden of the regular sessions of the Board and 
the Executive Committee of the A.F.S.C. in 1928 set Rufus Jones free 
for other enterprises. He gave three important series of lectures: the 
"New Era" Lectures at the University of Southern California School 
of Religion, in 1929, which were published under the title: Some Ex- 
ponents of Mystical Religion, a course of lectures to the School of 
Religion in Athens, the same year, and the William Belden Noble 
Lectures at Harvard in the spring of 193 1. In preparation for the 
latter, he took a semester's sabbatical leave and went to London, where 
he and Elizabeth Jones worked for three months in the British Museum 
on the great religious movements of the Commonwealth period. These 
lectures formed the basis of a book, Mysticism and Democracy in 
the English Commonwealth, which bore the dedication: 

"To my wife, Elizabeth B. Jones, whose cooperative help in the 
work of research involved in these chapters was invaluable, I dedicate 
this book with affectionate appreciation." 

When the research for this book had been completed, they went 
to Greece to visit a Friends Center in Salonica, where English Friends 
were helping refugees, and to spend three weeks in Athens, where 
Rufus Jones gave five lectures on "The Nature of Religion and Man's 
Approach to It." 

Christmas that year they spent in Assisi, and on the last day of 1929, 
Rufus Jones made a pilgrimage to La Verna, the mountain where St. 
Francis received the Stigmata, climbing through snow for the last 
three miles of the way. Though he had, in his younger days, been 
inclined to regard the stigmatization of St. Francis as an experience 


more psychic than spiritual, he was now, when he saw the lonely 
cave and stood on the narrow crevice of rock where St. Francis 
prayed, deeply stirred by the place and its story. 

They were at home again in Haverford for the opening of the 
second semester in February 1930. Late in June of that year there came 
a telegram from John D. Rockefeller Jr. asking Rufus Jones to confer 
with him about "an important matter." 

Rufus Jones and John D. Rockefeller Jr. had been friends for sev- 
eral years. Every summer Rufus Jones went to Mt. Desert, to preach 
at the Union Church in Northeast Harbor and since 1922 also at the 
little Congregational Church at Seal Harbor. Frequently he stayed 
with the Rockefellers at the Eyrie, high on the hill above the sea. 
One year when the Rockefellers were obliged to be away at the time 
of his coming, he visited their young sons instead, to the genuine 
enjoyment of both sides. 

The important matter which Mr. Rockefeller now had to put be- 
fore his friend had grown out of a conference in Jerusalem in the 
spring of 1928, which Rufus Jones had not been able to attend but 
for which he had written a paper that had made a profound impression. 

The International Missionary Council, made up of representatives 
of churches and missions all over the world, had met at Jerusalem 
to discuss the problems of spreading Christianity in the modern world. 
For the first time at such a meeting questions of race relations, eco- 
nomic factors and other social issues were taken into account. For the 
first time a good deal of attention was given to the consideration of 
the relationship of the Christian life with the non-Christian systems, 
and other religions appeared in the novel light of possible allies instead 
of enemies to be overcome and exterminated. 

In his paper, persuasive, vigorous, flickering with humor, fresh, yet 
scholarly, critical yet encouraging, which was read at the meeting, 
Rufus Jones set forth his theme boldly in the first sentence: 

"No student of the deeper problems of life can fail to see that the 
greatest rival of Christianity in the world today is not Mohammedan- 
ism or Buddhism or Hinduism or Confucianism but a world-wide 
secular way of life and interpretation of the nature of things." 

After tracing the historical development of the drift away from 
Christianity, he called on Christian leaders to welcome joyously as 
from God all newly discovered truth. As the early Christian church 
was enriched by the weaving in of Platonism and the medieval Church 
by Aquinas's synthesis of Aristotelian thought, so, he declared, we 


must have today "a fresh and living interpretation of all discovered 
and verified truth, through science or history." He pointed to the 
rejection by Oriental students of a missionary doctrine that refused 
to recognize scientific discoveries and taught what was to them out- 
worn superstition and emphasized the devastating effect on the secu- 
lar-minded everywhere of the Christian's failure to "live the life about 
which we talk and preach." The conclusion which he found "easy 
to draw" was that Christian leaders must be much more carefully 
chosen and effectively trained, so that the message which is "the eter- 
nally precious treasure" may reach a generation that actually, though 
often unconsciously, is hungering for it. 

Following this meeting in Jerusalem, Dr. John R. Mott, who had 
been its chairman, made a trip around the world visiting the principal 
mission fields, and in January 1930, at the invitation of Mr. Rocke- 
feller, he addressed a group of leading Baptist laymen in New York. 
Out of this, with Mr. Rockefeller's encouragement and support, came 
the plan to make an independent, intensive study of foreign missions. 
Laymen of six other denominations, Congregational, Methodist, Epis- 
copal, Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, and Reformed Church, were 
invited to join in the project, which now consisted of a fact-finding 
inquiry by technical experts, to be followed by an appraisal of the 
facts by fifteen commissioners, who would spend the greater part of 
a year visiting India, Burma, China and Japan, meeting the principal 
missionaries and drawing up a report and recommendations. 

When Rufus Jones was asked to be a member of the appraisal group, 
he declined. It would mean a year away from Haverford and the time 
of his retirement was drawing near. "I have only two more years to 
teach at Haverford," he wrote to John R. Mott, "and my life is 
tremendously bound up with these men. Each year here means more 
than the one before did and I have found through my work here an 
amazing open door into lives and thoughts of students everywhere 
and my interpretation of life and of God is ripening up in just the 
way I want it to do. The break of a year out of the two precious ones 
left for this kind of work seems hardly the right thing for me to do, 
and those who are closest to me feel this almost more strongly than 
I do. An intellectual task of spiritual interpretation does seem clearly 
laid on me and I hesitate to go away and leave it." 

A compromise was suggested. Would Rufus Jones go for half the 
time? His wife and daughter were invited to accompany him. "I have 
never been able to convey to you," wrote John R. Mott, "the posi- 


tion of leadership you won among the forces of the world-wide mis- 
sion of Christianity through your paper for the Jerusalem meeting." 

On the basis of a half year Rufus Jones accepted. 

It was characteristic of him and of his way of going about things 
that he at once turned an appraising eye on the state of religion in 
America. "I felt it wrong," he said, "to go out and study the Orient 
without first considering the condition of Christianity at home." 

He gathered around himself a little council of religious leaders, 
including such men as Charles Gilkie, Henry Sloan Coffin, Henry 
Hodgkin, Douglas Horton, and Arthur Lee Kinsolving, on whom 
he could call for help and advice. Some of them were also members 
of the Fellowship for Christian Cooperation, a rather short-lived 
organization of which Rufus Jones was president and to which he 
gave much time and thought between the years of 1930 and 1935. 
The question he asked them all was, "What seem to you to be the 
most striking and difficult intellectual and practical obstacles to the 
revival and spread of Christian faith in the world of this present 

At a meeting in New York in January, 193 1, it was decided that 
Rufus Jones should write, and John D. Rockefeller Jr. would sub- 
sidize, a "restatement for the present day of the fundamental content 
and program of the Christian religion." By the following November 
this statement was ready, and at a conference in Haverford his ad- 
visory council criticized it and made suggestions for changes. Under 
the title A Preface to Christian Faith in a New Age it was pub- 
lished the following year. Though it was primarily addressed, not 
to the general reader, but to ministers and concerned laymen in the 
church, it was chosen as the May selection of the Religious Book of 
the Month Club. 

Leaving Howard Brinton to carry on his classes at Haverford and 
taking with him forty term-papers to read and return, as well as 
the proofs of A Preface to Christian Faith to correct, Rufus Jones, 
with Elizabeth and Mary, departed from Haverford on January 10, 
1932. They sailed on the 15th from San Francisco on the President 
Grant. A telegram signed by Clarence Pickett gave them an encour- 
aging send-off: 




The three-week voyage was marked by the loss of Rufus Jones's 
sixty-ninth birthday on the international date-line, by rough seas, 
and by radio reports, meager but ominous, of Japanese military 
activity in China. 

During the previous September Japanese troops had begun the 
invasion of Manchuria. On the 28th of January they had attacked 

Under a cold and cloudy sky the President Grant docked at Shang- 
hai. The harbor was full of cruisers and gunboats of various countries. 
The Joneses did not go ashore but friends came aboard and told them 
the news. Part of the International Settlement had been occupied by 
the Japanese; the native quarter, Chapei, had been bombed and de- 
stroyed, with great loss of life; many of their Chinese acquaintances 
had lost everything. Two hundred new passengers, both westerners 
and Chinese, eager to get away from Shanghai, crowded onto the 
ship. Between the time that they went up the Whangpoo River one 
day and came down the next, the Japanese had shelled the town and 
fort of Woosung, situated at the point where the Whangpoo emptied 
into the Yangtse. "Today as we came down," wrote Elizabeth Jones 
to her family, "we saw the houses that had been hit and the fires still 
burning that had started." 

Wondering what the Commission would be able to accomplish 
under these conditions, the Joneses reached Hong Kong two days 
later and went directly to Canton to stay with William and Catherine 
Cadbury. Within a few days the rest of the Commission, who had 
been working their way up through India and Burma since October, 
reached Hong Kong, and Rufus Jones joined them there at the Pen- 
insula Hotel, Kowloon. 

It was a distinguished group of people whom he met. Dr. William 
Ernest Hocking, of the Harvard Philosophy Department, was the 
chairman. There were two college presidents, Dr. Clarence A. Barbour 
of Brown and Dr. Arlo A. Brown of Drew, and a vice-president, Dr. 
Frederic C. Woodward of the University of Chicago; two medical 
college deans, Dr. Henry S. Houghton of the University of Iowa 
and Dr. Charles Phillips Emerson of the University of Illinois; 
an agricultural economist, Dr. Henry C. Taylor; three leading 
business men, Mr. Albert L. Scott of New York, Mr. Harper Sibley 
of Rochester, Mr. Edgar L. Betts of Troy; and the pastor of the Brick 


Presbyterian Church in New York, Dr. William Pierson Merrill. Mrs. 
Harper Sibley and Mrs. Hocking were there as leaders in religion and 
education in their own right, and Miss Ruth F. Woodsmall of the 
International Y.W.C.A. was the third woman member. 

The first meeting with Rufus Jones was a stirring occasion. Ten 
leading Chinese and ten foremost missionaries had been invited to a 
conference with the commissioners, and Rufus Jones spoke to the 
whole group. Dr. Hocking remembers vividly the lift and the fresh 
enthusiasm that Rufus Jones, with his humor and that native buoyancy 
which the A.F.S.C. so much prized, brought to people who were 
ready to catch their second wind. 

The method of procedure was to hold group conferences in the 
larger cities with representative bodies of missionaries, Christian na- 
tionals, and non-Christians; then to disperse for more intimate con- 
versations and interviews, as well as visits to the missions themselves. 
The group was organized in nine committees. Rufus Jones served on 
the committees on the Mission and Indigenous Church, on Higher 
Education and on Literature. 

For nearly four weeks Elizabeth and Mary Hoxie Jones stayed with 
the Cadburys in Canton, joining in the activities of Lingnan, including 
a Quaker wedding and the making of garments for refugees from 
Shanghai, while the Commission, extending their time in the south of 
China until the situation in the north should be clarified, visited mis- 
sionary undertakings in the neighborhood of Canton. Rufus Jones with 
two others took an eight-day trip up the coast by steamer, stopping at 
Swatow, Amoy and Foochow, all missionary centers and important 
coastal cities. It was, he said afterwards, the most interesting single 
trip of the entire mission. 

After a truce was effected in Shanghai, the entire group returned 
to that city and made their headquarters for the next two weeks at the 
Cathay Hotel, in the International Settlement. Now they saw the 
destruction and the suffering that had been wrought by the attack of 
the previous month. 

"Three hundred thousand people lived in Chapei," wrote Rufus 
Jones, "and hardly a single home is left standing . . . Not often does 
one see more widespread signs of sheer, stark tragedy, unrelieved by 
any good that can come out of it ... I am pledged to fight this thing 
[i.e. war] until I die." 

Some of the group, including Rufus Jones, went to Nanking and 
Hangchow, with the risk that the return might be cut off. They got 


back safely, however, and reported that a section of the Lytton Com- 
mission had been in Hangchow. The Lytton Commission, which con- 
sisted of five men, an Englishman, a Frenchman, an American, an 
Italian, and a German, headed by Lord Lytton, had been sent by the 
League of Nations to investigate the Japanese action in Manchuria 
and Shanghai. Though they were entirely an investigating group with 
no power to make a settlement, the Chinese, burning with resentment 
toward Japan, were indignant with their failure to act. 

The Laymen's Commission left Shanghai on the 26th of March and 
went to Peking for the last stage of their work in China. Here an at- 
tack of bronchitis which he had not been able to shake off took Rufus 
Jones to the Union Medical College Hospital, kept him there for a 
week, and prevented him from joining those members who went on 
to Japan via Dairen, Mukden and Korea. This time during their stay 
in Peking Elizabeth Jones and Mary managed to see the Great Wall, 
on a brilliantly beautiful day. 

The divided group travelled to Japan by different routes and met 
in Nara late in April, to spend the first ten days working on the report 
on China. They stayed in the Nara Hotel, and had at least some free 
time for visiting places of interest in that fascinating ancient town. A 
rumor reached the National Christian Council of Japan that some of 
the members of the Laymen's Commission were talking to Buddhists 
and Shintoists, a dangerous waste of time, from the Council's point of 
view. Their letter of protest arrived on the day that Rufus Jones and 
Dr. Hocking had an invitation to take part in an evening of Zazen 
(meditation) in a Zen Buddhist monastery. Dr. Hocking asked Rufus 
Jones what they should do, and Rufus Jones replied with, in Dr. 
Hocking's words, "beautiful quietude and humor," "We'll spend the 
evening with our Buddhist brethren." They enjoyed a rare and deeply 
moving opportunity, and added the knowledge of experience to a 
theoretical understanding of Rudolph Otto's distinction between mys- 
ticism of the self and mysticism of the deity. 

In Tokyo in May the Joneses were given a "tempura party" by the 
local Bryn Mawr graduates. In another room of the restaurant Charlie 
Chaplin was being similarly feted. "We were invited to see him be- 
tween courses," wrote Rufus Jones to Marion Edwards Park of Bryn 
Mawr, "and were quite entertained by him. I told him that whatever 
distinction he might have he could never be a Bryn Mawr graduate! 
This [sic] Japanese Bryn Mawr women are very fine quality and they 
are full of good humor." 


From Tokyo they sailed on a Japanese ship to Honolulu, where 
the Commission spent two weeks "blocking out our report and un- 
tangling our minds." 

Those two weeks of work in a glorious setting of beach and sunshine 
required from all the group the most intense labor, f orebearance, under- 
standing and vision. They represented not only a variety of vocations 
and interests but a wide spread in religious belief. Determined though 
they were to produce a report which should satisfy everyone, some of 
them were disturbed by what they felt to be the secular and liberal 
attitudes of some of the others. Their decision not to water down the 
final statements but to include differing views added much to the 
value of the report and was at least partly due to Rufus Jones's gift 
for seizing and expressing the essentials of a conviction. Dr. Hocking, 
who as chairman had the steering to do, testifies warmly to Rufus 
Jones's help in outlining the report, in writing certain parts of it, and 
in drawing the group together. Every part of it had to be re-written 
several times, but when the Commission met again in Rockland, Maine, 
for two weeks in August, they were able to unite on a final draft. 

In September, after a further, briefer meeting at Lake Mohonk, 
Rufus Jones wrote to Henry Cadbury, then in Holland, that the report 
was finished and being printed. "It is quite an epoch-making piece of 
work, and will," he prophesied, "rattle dry bones for years to come." 
A quarter of a century later some of the bones are still rattling. 

Entitled Re-thinking Missions, the report appeared in book form in 
November. After describing the inception of the Inquiry, its composi- 
tion, its history, and the different points of view which it represented, 
the report set forth the questions which it asked and for which it had 
sought answers. "The first and most searching question, whether these 
missions should in our judgment any longer go on," they answered 
unhesitatingly and emphatically in the affirmative, but they found that 
"there is not alone room for change, there is necessity for change." 

In a spirit of deep religious concern and earnestness, of appreciation 
of what had been and was being done, combined with an objective 
awareness of inadequacies and blind spots, the report probed sensitive 
areas that had never before been exposed to the surgeon's headlight 
and scalpel. The chapter on the Scope of the Mission, Chapter III, 
written by Dr. Hocking in consultation with Rufus Jones, which dealt 
in large part with the problem of "message" and humanitarian work, 
the necessity for a new kind of person "if there is to be a new social 
order," on the transmission of the Christian way of life by contagion, 


on the desirability of "united action across denominational lines and 
even across religious boundaries," showed the impress of both their 
minds and the agreement they had reached in the weeks of working 

Chapter IV, entitled "The Mission and the Church," which was 
wholly written by Rufus Jones, after paying tribute to the church 
and the persons whom it had influenced, pointed out that denomina- 
tionalism had been transported to the Orient and in conservative form 
often unsuited to the country. In China the creators of the church 
should have taken more account of family life as a unit, in Japan aes- 
thetic appeal and moral and intellectual life should have had more con- 
sideration. He urged a more vital and idealistic program for the student 
class, rural workers who understood rural problems and would live 
among the farmers, the strengthening of the indigenous church with 
independence in view, and a movement away from religion of dogma 
toward a religion of life. Only persons of the highest quality, fitness 
and tested ability, he concluded, should be allowed to go as mis- 
sionaries to other lands. 

Other chapters dealt with the different kinds of missionary work, 
educational, medical, agricultural, and so forth, with administration, 
reorganization at the home base, and supplied a summary of conclu- 
sions and recommendations. 

The book made an immediate sensation, and controversy raged 
around it. 

"A unique book, a great book," Pearl Buck declared in the Christian 
Century and Henry W. Luce, Professor of Chinese at Hartford Theo- 
logical Seminary, Kennedy School of Missions, wrote to Rufus Jones, 
"I think it's the greatest church document in a decade — perhaps in 
many decades." 

Months of discussion followed, in the religious and secular press, 
in mission boards, in church and lay groups of all kinds. To most 
people it appeared sane, forward-looking, fresh, hopeful and realistic. 
To others it seemed to be an attack on their most cherished beliefs 
and a dastardly attempt to destroy the missionary movement alto- 
gether. The controversy centered about the first three chapters, which 
set forth basic Christian beliefs, and on the part which dealt with the 
training and qualifications of missionaries and called for a raising of the 
standard of both. To many missionaries this appeared to be personal, 
wounding criticism. The recommendation that church government 
and finances be turned over as quickly as possible to the indigenous 


churches seemed to many a blow at the whole missionary apparatus. 

Two of the most influential and beloved leaders in the missionary 
movement, Dr. Robert E. Speer and Dr. E. Stanley Jones, came out 
very strongly in opposition to the report and carried many with them. 

So strongly did the conservative elements feel that the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, which had asked 
Rufus Jones to deliver its Norton Lectures in 1933, wrote to him and 
withdrew the invitation. It was the unanimous opinion of his faculty, 
the chairman of the Committee explained regretfully, that it would 
expose the Seminary to criticism to have a speaker so prominently 
associated with a report which could only be understood as recom- 
mending the abandonment of the missionary enterprise as a Christian 

Undismayed, however, Rufus Jones was writing a few weeks later 
to a correspondent, "I am not at all disturbed over the attacks on the 
Report of our Commission . . . The young people all over the country 
are thrilled with it, and the more intelligent persons in all denomina- 
tions are strongly in favor of it. It will take five or six years probably 
before it will make a real impression on the churches. But 43,000 
copies have been sold and they have been read by many people." 

Besides the books already mentioned, Rufus Jones wrote four other 
books in the six years between his trips to the Orient: The New 
Quest, a book on prayer and worship, on life and immortality; George 
Fox, Seeker and Friend; The Trail of Life in College, the con- 
tinuation of his spiritual autobiography, which took him, actually, 
beyond college to his experience at Dieu-le-fit and his later meeting 
with John Wilhelm Rowntree. When he was searching for a title to 
continue the thought of Finding the Trail of Life, his daughter sug- 
gested, "You might call this one 'Lost in the Underbrush'." The fourth 
book, Pathways to the Reality of God, was one of the most im- 
portant of his books. Beginning with the premise that "the universe 
involves and implies a Mind operating through its processes," it ex- 
plored the pathways of evolution, history, philosophy, and daily 
experience, as well as others well trodden by the man whose faith is 
secure. He had to an extraordinary degree the gift of making God real 
to people. "I have thought of you as one of the few men who really 
believed in God," had written, wistfully, some years earlier a man 
who wanted him to speak at a conference of ministers. "Can you not 
come and help us to believe and teach us how to believe?" Pathways 


to the Reality of God met a wide response and went into seven 
printings in the first two months after it was published in 193 1. 

Another important enterprise in which Rufus Jones had a hand 
during these busy years just before his retirement from Haverford 
was the launching of the American Woodbrooke. Pendle Hill, a 
Quaker graduate school for religious and social studies, was, however, 
no mere copy of the older English school. It had from the beginning 
its own character and flavor. Built in part upon the resources of an 
earlier, similar attempt, the Woolman School in Swarthmore, it was 
established in a suburb of Philadelphia by a group of Quakers belong- 
ing to both Philadelphia yearly meetings. Rufus Jones participated in 
the early planning of it, he was a member of the first board, his old 
friend Henry T. Hodgkin was its first director, and he himself in 1930- 
31, the opening year, and 1932, after his return from the Orient, gave 
a course on the History of Christian Thought. 

In the autumn of 1932, after having served a six-year term, he was 
elected a "life-trustee" of Brown University, Providence. Associated 
with him on the Board were Clarence A. Barbour, president of the 
University, and Albert L. Scott, with both of whom he had worked 
closely over the Laymen's Commission. 


Midwife to the Soul 

/\ seventieth birthday is no longer a time "to be old, to take in 
sail," but it does mark a pause between the closing of one period and 
the opening of another. It is a time of summation and of concentra- 
tion, an opportunity for one's friends to express their awareness of 
what one's life has meant and is meaning. Rufus Jones's seventieth 
birthday brought him a sunburst of love and appreciation from all 
over the world. More than two hundred and fifty letters, some of them 
signed by many names, carried greetings from all quarters of Quaker- 
dom, from the world of education, from Maine villages, from former 
school and college mates and former students, from missionaries, from 
a host of friends who had come to know him through his books. 

"Please accept my very best wishes," wrote Dean Inge, "and thanks 
for all that I owe to your books, which have helped to convince me 
that when I am kicked out of the Church of England for heresy I 
may find a congenial spiritual home in the Society of Friends." 

"You have made a good start, boy, now keep it up," came a hail 
from "Cousin Genie" in South China, the widow of Richard Jones; 
"seventy is lots of fun, eighty is better and ninety the best of all." 

There were articles about him in the American Friends papers, in 
the London Friend, in The Guardian, Madras, India. Sir George New- 
man, describing the partnership between Rufus Jones and John Wil- 
helm Rowntree, which resulted in the development of the Summer 
School movement, the establishment of Woodbrooke, the Swarthmore 
lectures and the great Quaker History, wrote, "Out of that partnership 



too was to come a modern interpretation of the very meaning and 
universality of spirit of the Quaker Faith as one of the dynamic forms 
of mystical religion, the religion of life. . . . The eloquence, insight, 
understanding and sympathy of this most friendly man," he concluded, 
"have always been vitalized and enlightened by a rich and fertile 
humor of a large and expanding humanity, which whatever the 
calendar may say have kept him always young." 

In Philadelphia his birthday was celebrated by a dinner given by the 
Friends Social Union at the Down Town Club, at which four hundred 
were present. George Walton, headmaster of George School, was the 
genial toastmaster, and among the speakers were Marion Edwards 
Park of Bryn Mawr, and George A. Barton, that old and dear friend 
whose rejection of Quakerism had caused pain and sorrow and 
estrangement. A warm letter from President Hoover was read. 

In October of the same year Haverford College celebrated its 
hundredth birthday, and during the previous summer Rufus Jones 
had written its history. He worked every day in the little log cabin 
study which he had built overlooking China Lake, out of earshot of 
the cottage, where there were always guests and much coming and 
going. For reference he had Allen Thomas's earlier history of the 
college and the notes of the research which his daughter had done for 
him in the office files and the library during the spring. The rest of it 
was in his head. He had been a Junior in college at the time of the 
fiftieth anniversary celebration; for most of the second fifty years he 
had lived on the campus, had been himself part of the warp and woof 
of the fabric created there. He wrote, as he always did, in longhand. 
Contrary to what many people have assumed, his hand moved slowly, 
not rapidly, over the paper, as if giving time for his thoughts to order 
and arrange themselves, so that there were few erasures and correc- 

The book was published in the fall: Haverford College: A His- 
tory and an Interpretation. There is inevitably something parochial 
about a college history, but there was nothing dull or sterilely aca- 
demic about this one. It was told largely in terms of the men who 
had made the college, and the great figures — Rufus King of Balti- 
more, Thomas and Pliny Chase, Isaac Sharpless, Francis B. Gummere, 
Theodore Richards of the class of 1885, who "pursued chemistry as 
though his life depended on his discovery of its central secret" and 
who was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 1914 — all live in its pages. 
There is, necessarily, one large and glaring omission, Rufus Jones 


He was by no means missing from the centennial celebration, which 
lasted three days in early October. He spoke at the Old Graduates' 
dinner on October sixth; on the seventh he spoke on the steps of 
Founders' Hall on "The Spiritual History of Haverford" and lectured 
in Philosophy Four, to all who cared to visit his class, on "The Great 
Philosopher of Ephesus"; at the Convocation, at which James Row- 
land Angell, president of Yale and William Mather Lewis of Lafa- 
yette spoke, he made the prayer. Honorary degrees were awarded 
to Henry J. Cadbury, Cecil K. Drinker, and Christopher Morley. On 
Sunday, Rufus Jones spoke at the special Friends Meeting which was 
held for the visitors. 

The year 1933-34 was his last year of teaching. He had actually 
reached the usual retiring age in 1928, but the college had urged him 
to continue, and he had been glad to do so. Now, though he was 
seventy, the college still pressed him to go on, but he had made the 
decision to resign in June, 1934. "He was determined," his daughter 
says, "to stop his work before the college authorities reached the point 
of wishing that he would." 

He had taught at Haverford for forty-one years, as instructor, as- 
sociate professor, and professor. He had taught, but not all of them 
every year, Psychology, History of Philosophy, Ethics, Biblical Litera- 
ture, History of Christian Thought. 

Teaching was to him "that rare profession which Socrates called the 
midwife to the soul." He would never for a moment be content with a 
definition of education that limited it to the development of intel- 
lectual content or capacity. It was the weakness of higher institutions 
of learning, he maintained, that they put their emphasis on informa- 
tion, forgetting that their primary purpose "is to make moral and 
spiritual persons." You can't expect, he declared, such influence to 
emanate from chapel alone; it should be part of the fiber of college 
life. All who teach in a college should be "reverent interpreters of 
truth, persons who feel a genuine concern for the moral and spiritual 
effect of their work upon the making of the lives which pass under 
their hands." 

Though his educational purpose was Socratic, his method was not. 
He did not seek by gradual and often apparently oblique questioning 
to draw the ideas he sought to establish out of the students themselves. 
He lectured, with varying amounts of time for discussion afterwards. 
His lectures, though prepared with care beforehand, were "something 
more than a douche of words, sprayed out through a speaking tube." 
He sought to make them like St. Francis's sermons in the style of a 


man conversing, and his Maine drawl and his Maine stories sent home 
many a point that might otherwise have slid into oblivion. A few 
students have said that he made his explanations "too clear," to the 
point of over-simplification of subtle philosophical theories; a very few 
have complained that the lectures were "canned" or that they were ser- 
mons rather than lectures; the vast majority remember him as a vivid 
and absorbing teacher. 

He had a characteristic way of leaning back and folding his hands 
over his stomach, which grew larger with the increasing years, and 
twiddling his thumbs to emphasize a point. "When a boy jumps off 
the roof of a barn," he would declare, his eyes twinkling and his 
thumbs revolving, "he isn't defying the law of gravity, he's illustrating 

"Rufus's classes are a delight," one student wrote to his father in that 
last year before he retired. "His peculiar drawl is delightful, the stories 
he tells to illustrate his points so whimsical that the class rolls in the 
aisles with splitting sides, and the personal conceptions of life which 
he works into even the dryest philosopher are extremely satisfying. 
He makes us love men even like Parmenides and Diogenes and men 
more unpromising I can hardly imagine . . . The Philosophers, I feel, 
when they talk are too much like the economists, except a rare few 
like 'Woofus' who realise that 'character is higher than intellect', that 
'thinking is the functionary'. Why does he have to be retiring at the 
end of this year?" 

It was a source of pride to him that in his forty years of teaching at 
Haverford he never lost a class because of being late. The students 
had to wait for five minutes after the hour for a tardy professor; 
after that they got a "time-cut." Though Rufus Jones might, if he 
knew that he would have to be a few minutes late, tell them so before- 
hand, he never inadvertently missed the hour. 

The first course that he gave at Haverford was a course in Psy- 
chology, and for a number of years it was required for Juniors. The 
textbook was William James's Principles of Psychology, and How- 
ard Comfort, son of William Wistar Comfort, the President, says, "He 
taught William James himself, with the tacit assumption that here was 
a great mind and a great spirit whom the students would not know 
unless he [Rufus] pushed them through James's book." 

In the early days of his teaching, when Psychology was still a fairly 
new subject, Rufus Jones felt an enthusiasm for it that he lost when the 
attempt was made to turn it into an exact science and the major em- 


phasis was laid upon abnormal psychology. Throughout his teaching 
of Psychology he had little use for psycho-physiology, abnormal psy- 
chology, or for experiments with rats and mazes. One lecture sufficed 
for "The Physiological Basis of Psychology" before he went on to 
more congenial topics like Time, Memory, Imagination, Volition, the 
Subconscious and so forth. "I was soon impressed with the fact that 
Psychology tended to shake the student awake if he had not already 
found himself. It opened many new approaches to life. It gave fresh 
insights into the significance of what was going on within the man him- 
self. He began to see what it meant to be 'captain of his own soul' 
and he wondered whether he might be. The formation of habits, laws 
of memory, importance of imagination, control of instincts, possibil- 
ities of freedom, these and hosts of kindred problems, caught him 
where he lived and aroused the keenest interest in him, though of 
course it was not universally so." 

When psychology moved into the laboratory and "body-facts" were 
substituted for "mind-facts," then, he felt, psychology became a 
"subtler branch of physiology," and the development of Behaviorism 
not only changed the character of psychology but invaded the field 
of ethics and threatened to turn it into a kind of anthropology. "I 
was always convinced," he said, "that the right way of approach to 
all these deeper problems of life was to begin by asking, humbly and 
modestly as Plato and Kant did, what kind of a mind is implied in a 
person who possesses knowledge of what may be called 'truth', who 
loves, enjoys and appreciates the beautiful and good for their own sake 
and who has inherent capacity in his being to transcend the given, to 
live beyond everything that is presented to the senses, and, in some 
measure to help to create, that is, to make real, the world of these 
ideal visions. That was my way of approach in my college lectures, 
during these years." 

His course in the History of Philosophy centered around Plato in 
the first semester and Kant in the second. The notes for his lectures 
are still extant. They consist of twelve lectures on the Greek philoso- 
phers and one on Plotinus and Neo-Platonism; one each on Bacon, 
Descartes, Hobbes, the Cambridge Platonists, Spinoza, Locke, Leib- 
nitz, Berkeley, Hume, Fichte, Hegel, Schelling, Bergson, Emerson, 
Rationalism, Pragmatism, with eighteen papers on Kant. Nietzsche and 
Schopenhauer he omitted altogether. He gave his students what he 
considered good for them, he made it all crystal clear, he left them 
in no doubt what his own convictions were. 


Philosophy he defined as "a rational, logical, systematic search for 
truth," but he started with the reality of the religious experience, not 
with the sceptic's blank question. The "testimony of the soul" was for 
him forever valid. His professional contacts outside Haverford were 
not with the philosophy departments of other universities but with the 
theological schools, and he wrote, not for the philosophical periodicals 
but for the Friends journals, the Christian Century, the Homiletic 
Review and the Harvard Theological Review. "He was not a meta- 
physician either," William Wistar Comfort said of him, "but if phi- 
losophy means a guide of life, he was a religious philosopher, for he 
had found a Guide for himself and for thousands of others." Many a 
student of his might have said, as one of them did, "I will never forget 
the day in our philosophy class while studying Kant's work that I 
suddenly for the first time received a perception of the real meaning 
of faith." 

For a number of years he taught Freshman Bible, and he at least, 
he declared, "learned a lot about the Bible!" In the early iqoo's there 
were still students to whom his liberal point of view was a hazard. 
Sigmund Spaeth, the well known music critic, tells how, the strictly 
brought up son of a Lutheran minister, he heard Rufus Jones remark 
mildly that the story of the flood need not be taken literally, and was 
so shocked that he burst into tears. "He spoke to me afterwards, very 
kindly and comfortingly, saying that he did not want to upset any- 
body's faith and that I had a perfect right to interpret Genesis as I 

Concern for the faith of a Roman Catholic student, who was a 
Sophomore during Rufus Jones's last year of teaching, was responsible 
for a revealing incident. 

"It was announced," writes Daniel Coogan, Jr. "that he would teach 
Philosophy 2b, Development of Christian Thought, during the second 
semester, and naturally there was a rush to get in the class, since it 
was known that it would be his last semester of teaching. When he 
learned that I was one of those eager to enter his course he wrote me 
the following letter, which I have treasured ever since as evidence of 
great understanding and charity and good will: 

Dear Coogan, 

I have a concern that you should consider carefully whether it is wise for 
you to take Phil. 2b this semester. I shall have to deal in the course with move- 
ments that are considered by your Church as heretical and I must naturally study 
the Reformation, including Luther and Calvin. I always expect to be impartial 


but such movements are not usually studied by Roman Catholics from the Quaker 
point of view and it might be disturbing to you. I should like to talk it over with 
you, but my feeling is that you would not be happy in that work. 

Sincerely your friend, 

Rufus M. Jones 

Of course, I accepted his invitation to talk it over and I was able to 
convince him that my faith was sufficiently strong to hold up under 
his teaching. I took the course, wrote a paper on the Council of Trent 
and the Counter-Reformation, and came away from it richer, wiser, 
and more intensely and devotedly Catholic than I had been before. 
Indeed I may say that at Haverford as an undergraduate I had the 
unique (perhaps even paradoxical) experience of a strengthening and 
deepening of religious conviction within the Catholic framework 
which has resulted in a lifelong commitment to and devout interest in 
Catholicism; Rufus Jones by word and example contributed pro- 
foundly to this, and I shall always be grateful to him." 

For thirty-three years, from 1901, he taught the course in Ethics 
that was required of all Seniors. It was here perhaps that he was at his 
best. The basis of moral freedom, the reality of the moral experience, 
the significance of beauty, the capacity to live "beyond the edge of 
what now is" and strive for what ought to be, the difference between 
happiness and pleasure: these were some of the topics that his students 
remember him talking about. 

"Realization is the secret of life," he said in his farewell lecture to 
one class, "and the key to it. Each occasion is what it is and it opens 
out a more yet. 

"Adjustment," he continued, "is no adequate test of moral height." 

"The only thing he ever warned us against," remembers Howard 
Comfort, "was Joyce's Ulysses" 

A story is told of his last class in Ethics in 1934. He came to the 
lecture room at the usual time, and found no one there. After a few 
minutes, in they came, in a body, dressed to represent the virtues and 
vices that they had encountered during the course, and marched in 
silence around the room. Rufus Jones laughed heartily. "Well, boys," 
he said, leaning back and twiddling his thumbs over his stomach, "I've 
taught this course for thirty -three years and this is the most evidence 
of preparation that I've seen yet! " 

Those who confess freely that they can remember nothing of what 
he said in the classroom do remember vividly what he was. His humor, 
his light, his warmth, above all the conviction he gave them that it 
was vitally important what each student made of his life, had the 


power to kindle and inspire. "From my first hour in his classroom in 
Haverford College," said one, "he was my hero." 

"I have always felt," he said himself, "that I was at my best in a 
classroom and there is no question that I am happiest when I am teach- 
ing a class of youth." 

When he retired, Rufus Jones left his Philosophy Department in 
the hands of able younger associates who have since then in their turn 
become leaders of religious thought in the United States. Douglas V. 
Steere came to Haverford as assistant professor in 1928, straight from 
a year's study at Oriel College, Oxford, and a briefer experience at 
Marburg. He has remained at Haverford, succeeding Rufus Jones in 
the T. Wistar Brown Chair of Philosophy, writing (Prayer and Wor- 
ship, and On Beginning from Within are two of many books) and 
travelling widely on missions of love for the A.F.S.C. D. Elton True- 
blood, who came to Haverford in 1933, went on after three years to 
Leland Stanford, and from there to Earlham. He is well known for his 
Alternative to Futility, the Life We Prize, and other books. He 
was followed at Haverford by Thomas Kelly, who had been a student 
of Rufus Jones's and had kept in close touch with him from his col- 
lege days. An A.F.S.C. worker in Germany, a mystic by experience, 
he came from teaching Philosophy at Earlham College and the Uni- 
versity of Hawaii, to make in a few years a secure place for himself in 
the hearts of the college and the community. After his sudden death 
in 194 1, his Testament of Devotion was published and has made an 
extraordinary appeal to seekers of all denominations. 

Although Rufus Jones remained in the Haverford College catalogue 
as Professor Emeritus and lived in his house on the campus for his 
remaining years, this chapter of his life came to an end with his retire- 
ment. "There is a humorous college song about 'old Founders' bell is 
ringing'," writes his daughter. "But the ringing of Founders' bell is 
not always a matter to laugh about. It had, for forty years, called 
Rufus Jones across the Cricket Circle from his home to his class-room. 
He realized that he wanted to be out of earshot of Founders' bell when 
the autumn semester began in 1934-" Accordingly he and Elizabeth 
Jones, after several weeks at South China, sailed for England on the 
twenty-ninth of July. 


After Retirement 

1 he first stop was Woodbrooke, where Rufus Jones gave three 
lectures on the Psychology of Religious Experience at the summer 
school. From there he went to Copenhagen, to address an Interna- 
tional Conference on Religious Liberalism on "Re-thinking Religious 
Liberalism," a lecture subsequently published in book form. 

In this lecture he reiterated the point which he so often made, that 
an intellectual movement must be considered in the climate of thought 
at the time of its inception and in relation to the historical events 
that gave rise to it. Liberalism, he pointed out, arose in revolt against 
cramping tradition and outworn dogmas; it was strongly influenced 
by the rationalism of the age of enlightenment. In the currents of 
theological thought of the early 1930's, dominated by Reinhold 
Niebuhr, liberalism appeared shallow, sentimental, thinly rational, 
over-optimistic, idealistic, unrealistic. He quoted T. S. Eliot's pro- 
nouncement, "Our present-day society is worm-eaten with liberalism." 

True liberalism, however, he said, was not a set of beliefs but an 
attitude of mind, a spirit committed to the unceasing pursuit of truth 
and obedience to the enlarging vision of the soul. The new liberalism 
must have affirmations as well as denials. "It is not what peradventure 
one does not believe that matters most, but what fiery, positive faith 
dominates one's soul." 

Berlin came next, where he acquired a German secretary, Dr. Anna 
Magdelina Schroeder, and started her on research on the Friends of 



God of the fourteenth century, and where he conferred with the 
American and British Friends at the Friends Center about conditions 
in what was now Hitler's Germany. From there he went to Prague, 
where he attended a three-day International Conference of Friends, a 
large -sounding title for the little group of sixty who met there. Con- 
tinental Quakers were still very few in numbers; most of them had 
joined Friends as a result of contacts with A.F.S.C. or Friends Service 
Council workers, and these small new meetings needed careful nurtur- 
ing and encouragement and the experience of knowing themselves 
members of a larger body. 

In September the three Joneses were together in London, for Mary 
was spending a year in England studying and writing. Rufus Jones 
preached at the City Temple. He went to Ireland for a few days to 
visit Friends in Dublin and Belfast, while Elizabeth Jones worked 
steadily at the British Museum on the fourteenth century mystics. "To- 
day," Rufus Jones wrote to Henry Cadbury on the 20th of September, 
"Haverford opens and I have a tug on my heart strings, but things are 
in right ordering." Back to the continent they went in October, to 
spend the next three months. In Strasbourg he handled the precious 
little books written by the Friends of God, and visited the Green Isle 
where they had lived and worked and worshipped. In Marburg he 
saw again his old friends, Frau Happich, the Sippells, and Professor 
Otto. They returned to Berlin. 

The scene in Germany was darkening. Hitler had been in power 
for more than a year. There were Nazi parades in all the cities and 
anyone who did not respond with the Hitler salute was roughly 
handled. Streams of Jewish people came to the Friends Center in 
Berlin to ask about the possibilities of emigrating to the United States. 

Vienna, too, where Rufus and Elizabeth Jones were joined by Mary 
in November, had had a troubled year. There had been a Socialist up- 
rising in February, which Dollfuss had crushed. The Friends Center, 
where Emma Cadbury, representing the A.F.S.C, worked with an 
English couple from the Friends Service Council, was, with the help 
of some two hundred young Austrian volunteers, distributing aid to 
8,000 families of men killed, wounded, or imprisoned in the February 
fighting. An attempted Nazi putsch in July had in turn been put down 
with severity. 

Rufus Jones went to see Chancellor Schuschnigg about relief for 
Vienna during the winter, if it should be necessary. While he was in 
Vienna he spoke on "The Quaker Attitude toward the Use of Force." 


December found Rufus and Elizabeth Jones in Italy. In Florence 
he met Maria Sorella Minor, the Mother Superior of a Franciscan 
order, whom readers of Evelyn Underbill's Letters will recognize. Sis- 
ter Maria wrote to him afterwards a letter beginning, "Frate Rufino," 
in which she declared, "I will always remember your visit and you." 
Christmas they spent in Naples, after seeing Mary off to China. 

"We had a very interesting visit in the South of France," Rufus 
Jones wrote to Clarence Pickett in January, "where I hunted up all 
that remains of the old Quaker movement in that part of France. From 
Nimes we went to Geneva, then back to Paris." 

Two more months in England followed, where Rufus Jones lectured 
at various places on "Some Forces that will Remake the World," de- 
livered the Hibbert Lecture at Cambridge, and lunched with Evelyn 
Underhill, before he and his wife sailed for home on the Manhattan, 
arriving in time for Elizabeth Jones to take part in Philadelphia Yearly 
Meeting as one of the clerks. 

Rufus Jones's return to the United States, free from the confines 
of the class-room, opened the flood-gates of demand. He was just back 
from Europe, that ominous place about which the newspapers reported 
disturbing and conflicting news. People wanted eye-witness accounts 
from one who had just been there; they wanted interpretations by a 
wise and temperate man whom they could trust. His Trail of Life 
in the Middle Years, the third and last volume of his spiritual auto- 
biography, had been published while he was away. It summed up 
much of his philosophy and showed how it had been forged on the 
anvil of his living. Yale University saluted his achievements with an 
honorary doctorate of divinity. Everybody wanted him to speak, to 
write books, articles, introductions to books, chapters in books, re- 
views of books, to advise them, to inspire them, to convince them that 
behind this nightmare world of depressions and dictatorships there 
was an eternally real spiritual world. 

He made five commencement and baccalaureate addresses in a single 
week in June, before he thankfully left for South China, where he 
spent most of his mornings preparing lectures for the following fall 
and winter. 

He took on the editorship of a series of books to be called "The 
Great Issues of Life Series." William A. Slade of the Library of Con- 
gress had conceived the idea of a number of small books by distin- 
guished writers and scholars interpreting the fundamental aspects of 
Christian life and thought, to be edited by Rufus Jones and published 


by Macmillan. Rufus Jones was to select the men to write the books 
and to persuade them to do it, to write an introduction to each book, 
and write one of the volumes himself. The last part of the assignment 
proved to be the simplest part of it. For over two years his correspond- 
ence was heavy on behalf of the great issues. He found it difficult to 
enlist the men whom he wanted. Some of them — like Lord Tweeds- 
muir, whom he asked to write on "Christianity in a Changing Civiliza- 
tion" — were too busy; others were not drawn to the subject; still 
others could not reduce the material to the small compass required. 
Rufus Jones's own volume, The Eternal Gospel, was published 
first, followed by four books by other writers before the war came 
to put an end to the project. 

In 1938 the book for which he had done research in England and 
Germany on the mystics of the fourteenth century was published 
under the title, The Flowering of Mysticism. He had brought back 
with him a "vast collection of notes and a large addition of books" 
to his library, and during three busy years he had been writing the 
book which was to fulfill his youthful determination to make the 
Friends of God live again. They had occupied one chapter, and, he 
felt, the most important chapter, in his Studies in Mystical Religion, 
but the treatment had been too brief to be adequate. Further research 
and study, more experience in life, had changed somewhat his view 
of both the Friends of God and of mysticism itself. He included in 
the book also the English mystics of the fourteenth century, a con- 
siderable body of anonymous mystical writings and an Epilogue on 
the nature of mystical experience. 

This was the last of his historical studies on mysticism though to the 
end of his life he would be writing and talking of mystical religion. 
His view of mysticism, steeped though he was in the writings of the 
mystics, great and small, through the ages, was not an academic con- 
struction or a synthesis of his readings; it had its own distinctive 
character. Rufus Jones was not only a student, a writer, an authority 
on mysticism, he was himself a mystic, living in today's world amid 
today's problems. The mysticism of Rufus Jones requires a chapter to 

-C- C~ "C s — c*~ o o o 


T/>£ Mysticism of Rufus Jones 

gfr i ^ . r^i ■ tti g> ^i ■ «■■ ■—■ -«■»- * » » «^ 

It was through reading Emerson in college that Rufus Jones first 
became aware that the religion in which he had grown up, with the 
dew of which he had been sprinkled from morning till night, the 
religion of his beloved Aunt Peace, was actually a mystical religion, 
a part of a great spiritual movement. By that realization and through 
the influence of Pliny Chase his mind was directed toward the study 
of mysticism from a historical viewpoint, and his first written treat- 
ment of the subject was his graduation essay, "Some Exponents of 
Mystical Religion." 

It was, however, his own mystical experience at Dieu-le-fit which 
at the age of twenty-four turned him from one who had some knowl- 
edge about mysticism and who sought to know more, into one who 
had knowledge of mysticism through his own experience. It changed 
the direction of his life, provided its consuming interest, opened his 
understanding of the mystics of whom he was to write, and gave 
him an unfaltering conviction of the reality of God. 

This was the first but not the only such experience in his life. Even 
more impressive to him was that which he had on the ship going to 
England when unknown to him Lowell was dying and he felt himself 
"surrounded as by an enfolding presence and held as though by in- 
visible Arms," when his entire being was "fortified for the tragic 
news that awaited him on landing." In this experience, even more than 
in the earlier one, he was aware of the overwhelming love of God and 
of his own response to it. 



He recognized also a still different kind of experience, in which 
there was "no single moment of invasion or uprush" but after which 
he discovered that new life and power had come without his knowing 
exactly when. Such an experience, which he called "a case of quiet 
mystical receptivity" occurred after his automobile accident in 1922. 
Though he acknowledged the exhilaration of returning health when 
he had thought life was ended, he was convinced that he had received 
also a spiritual revitalization resulting in a new level of life. He was 
evidently referring to this experience when he wrote in 1936, "There 
is a type of organic mysticism which is much more common than 
highly conscious mysticism is." 

It was an experience, he said in the Introduction to W. C. Braith- 
waite's Beginnings of Quakerism, "not merely emotional, not merely 
intellectual, not merely volitional, through which the soul finds itself 
in a love-relation with the Living God. There are all possible stages and 
degrees of the experience of this 'relation' from simple awareness of 
the soul's Divine Companion to a rapt consciousness of union with the 
One and Only Reality." 

The significant features of this experience he described many times. 
In the Introduction to Spiritual Reformers he noted "the conscious- 
ness of fresh springs of life, the inauguration of a sense of mission, the 
flooding of the life with hope and gladness and the conviction, amount- 
ing to a certainty, that God is found as an environing and vitalizing 
Presence." To these he added later, the integration of the personality, 
"the closing of chasms and cleavages" whereby "the divided will, the 
divided mind, the divided heart become fused into a unity." A further 
characteristic of the experience is its incommunicability. In spite of 
the mystic's certainty that he has been in communion with God, he is 
unable to tell in words what he has received, and he is unable to bring 
back "concrete information about the nature and character of God." 

Rufus Jones was firm in maintaining that mysticism was not the 
whole of religion. "It [religion] is essentially bound up with all the 
processes of the intellect and with all the deeper issues of the will as 
well as with these first-hand intimations of the soul's vision. The 
present-day revolt from doctrine is in many ways superficial. There 
can be no great religion without the interpretation of life, of the 
universe, of experience, of mind, of God. What we ought to revolt 
from is traditional dogma." And again, "Mystical experience is not a 
substitute for the moral and rational processes of every day life." 

In the course of his life he defined mysticism over and over again 


in books and articles, in addresses, in innumerable question periods. At 
the end of any lecture on mysticism, he commented, some one was 
sure to rise and say appealingly, "Will the speaker kindly tell us in two 
or three plain words what mysticism really is?" The number and 
beauty of his definitions make a choice of a single example difficult, but 
one of the simplest is that given in The Trail of Life in the Middle 
Years: "The essential characteristic of it is the attainment of a per- 
sonal conviction by an individual that the human spirit and the divine 
Spirit have met, have found each other, and are in mutual and recipro- 
cal correspondence as spirit with Spirit." The phrase "mutual and 
reciprocal correspondence," a favorite phrase of his, is borrowed from 
Clement of Alexandria, who was from his youth one of his spiritual 
heroes. In 19 10 he published a little book of Selections from the 
Writings of Clement of Alexandria. In his Luminous Trail, in 
1947, he repeated the definition that he gave in 1909 in his Studies in 
Mystical Religion and which evidently he considered the most 
satisfactory of his formulations: "Mysticism is the type of religion 
which puts the emphasis on immediate awareness of relation with God, 
on direct and intimate consciousness of the Divine presence. It is 
religion in its most acute, intense and living stage." "Mysticism may, 
and I think should, stand for that type of experience in which a person 
feels an overmastering conviction that actual contact is attained with a 
divine, life-giving, joy-bringing Presence," he wrote in Pathways to 
the Reality of God. 

Throughout his life he made a distinction between affirmative mysti- 
cism and negative mysticism. Here he parts company with many 
writers on the subject, to whom the negative is the classic type and 
indeed the only real mysticism. 

The via negativa, as Rufus Jones saw it, called for withdrawal from 
the world, from all that is finite and temporal, in order to lose oneself 
in that which is infinite and eternal. The naughting of the self, the 
elimination of the I, the me, and the mine, the extirpation of all desire, 
the quenching of all thought, the merging of the individual person- 
ality in the divine Whole is necessary if union with the divine is to be 
achieved. Plotinus's often quoted phrase, "the flight of the alone to 
the Alone," expresses this summit experience. Ecstasy is the goal of the 
follower of this way. 

The affirmative mysticism, to the interpretation of which Rufus 
Jones gave his life, was a "milder and more normal correspondence of 
the soul with God." The affirmation mystic, he declared in Social 


Law in the Spiritual World, "seeks union with God, but not 
through loss of personality." On the contrary, his personality is 
fulfilled in God. St. Paul's statement, "It is no longer I that live but 
Christ liveth in me," Rufus Jones understood as "no negation of 
personality but a triumphant type of immensely expanded person- 
ality." The mark of the affirmative mystic is a transformed personality, 
radiant, vital, filled with energy, who finds, as he said in Social Law 
in the Spiritual World, obedience to the vision more important 
than the vision and who seeks to serve God in this world. 

Ecstasy in itself he distrusted, as being related to symptoms of 
hysteria, auditions, bodily changes and hypnosis. Trances and ecstasies 
have an element of abnormality and are not the best part of mysticism. 
He considered it a weakness of the negation mystic that he encouraged 
men "to live for the rare moment of ecstasy and beatific vision, to 
sacrifice the chance of winning spiritual victory for the hope of re- 
ceiving an ineffable illumination which would quench all further 
search or desire." Thirty-four years later he put it even more strongly: 
"I am equally convinced that the emphasis upon ecstasy which the 
Neoplatonic strain of thought introduced into Christian mysticism 
was an unfortunate and very costly contribution, and quite foreign 
to the mysticism of the New Testament. In fact for many interpreters 
ecstasy came to be thought of as the esse?itia of mysticism: No esctasy, 
no mystic!" He qualified this statement somewhat by making it clear 
that he was thinking of ecstasy chiefly as a semi-pathological state 
marked by an abnormal autosuggestibility and hysteria. "There is a 
type of ecstatic state, of inspiration and illumination, which seems to 
me to be a most glorious attainment and very near to the goal of life 
— a state of concentration, of unification, of liberation, of discovery, 
of heightened and intensified powers, and withal, a burst of joy, of 
rapture and of radiance." 

The source of negative mysticism he found in the belief in a wholly 
transcendent God, unknowable, wholly other, abstract and character- 
less. He was fond of quoting in this connection the lines, 

"Whatever your mind comes at, 
I tell you flat 
God is not that!" 

This God of the negation mystic, the "nameless Nothing" of Eckhart, 
the "Divine Dark" of Dionysius the Areopagite, the "fathomless 
Nothingness" of Tauler, Rufus Jones characterized as the "Abstract 


Infinite." "The long struggle of man's mind with the stern com- 
pulsions of this abstract infinite is, I think, one of the major intellectual 
tragedies of human life ... It is easy to see how that theory of the 
abstract [i.e. characterless] infinite would lead the mind of a mystic 
to expect his experience of God to terminate in a mental blank, an 
everlasting Nay." 

To him God was a Concrete Infinite. He used the term for the 
first time in the introduction to Spiritual Reformers and continued 
to employ it to the end of his life. "No ancient or medieval thinker," 
he wrote in Testimony of the Soul, "ever dealt adequately with 
what we have learned to call 'the concrete infinite', an infinite revealed 
in and through the temporal and the finite." The great symbol of 
the concrete infinite he finds in St. John's figure of the Vine with its 
many branches. "In that figure we have the suggestion of an Infinite 
that goes out into multitudinous manifestations and finds itself in and 
through its interrelated and finite branches. Perfection is not through 
isolation and withdrawal but through self-surrender and sacrificial 
limitation." In the Luminous Trail, after interpreting John IV, 24, 
to mean, "God is essentially Spirit and man can join with Him in 
vital fellowship, for he too is spirit," he went on to say, "This report 
means that religion is founded on a concrete Infinite, for Spirit is a 
concrete Reality, not on an abstract and 'naughted' Absolute, and 
intercommunion is an intelligible process of Like with like." 

The affirmative type of mysticism he traced first to St. John and St. 
Paul, who, he said, had been often disqualified as mystics by New 
Testament scholars who assumed that mysticism meant withdrawal 
from all that is finite and temporal. With the Renaissance and the 
recovery of New Testament models, a new type of mysticism came 
to birth, more Pauline and Johannine than the medieval type had been. 
The medieval view of God and man was broken by the new human- 
ism, not the modern humanism of naturalistic philosophy that "re- 
duced man to a natural creature" but the luminous humanism of 
Erasmus and the Renaissance thinkers, who discovered with joy the 
glorious potentialities of the human mind and spirit. "The focal idea 
of this new type of mysticism," he wrote, "is the glowing faith that 
there is something divine in man which under right influences and 
responses can become the dominant feature of a person's whole life. 
The favorite text of the exponents of the affirmation mysticism was 
that noble oracular fragment in Proverbs already quoted: 'The Spirit 
of man is a candle of the Lord.' This line of thought goes back for its 


pedigree, without much doubt, to the humanism of the Renaissance." 

To this humanism, "at heart deeply Platonic and mystical," was 
added the Reformation's rediscovery of the primitive message of 
Christianity and its insistence on the responsibility of the individual 
in the sphere of religion. "The center of religion was no longer 
thought of as being an external imperial organization; it was felt to be 
the inner life of the individual man. This shift of attitude was like the 
coming of the vernal equinox and with it came a new outburst of 
mystical life." From the strand of mysticism of the Friends of God, 
the humanism of Erasmus, the inward religion of Luther's early in- 
sight, and the glowing message of the New Testament came, as Rufus 
Jones showed in his historical studies, the mysticism of Caspar 
Schwenkfeld, Hans Denck, Sebastian Franck, Sebastian Costellio, and 
Jacob Boehme, the spiritual reformers whom he believed to be the 
forerunners of the Quakers of the seventeenth century. 

Thomas Traherne, the seventeenth century poet, he cited as a bril- 
liant interpreter of affirmative mysticism, and he considered William 
Law its chief exponent in the eighteenth century. William Blake was, 
he said, the "most notable mystic" of the latter century, but in none 
of his books did he care to tackle the elucidation of Blake. Nor was 
Blake one of the many poets whom he frequently quoted. 

Although he insisted upon the distinction between affirmative and 
negative mystics, he declared with equal emphasis that there were 
both affirmative and negative elements in both types of mysticism. The 
difference between the two types was a relative difference. "There 
have been no negation mystics who were not also affirmative, and there 
neither are nor will be any important affirmation mystics who do not 
tread at some point the via negativa, — the hard and dolorous road." 

All the great mystics up to the Reformation were, he felt, negative 
because of the prevailing metaphysics but affirmative in their ex- 
perience. Again and again he paid tribute to their lives and their 
personalities, to the good that they did in the world. He loved them 
and he wrote of them in book after book, Meister Eckhart, whom he 
called "the peak of the range," Plotinus, the anonymous author of the 
Theologia Germanica, St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Even Dionysius 
the Areopagite, whom he considered responsible for much of the 
more extreme form of negative mysticism, he spoke of as "this dear 

This question of the classification of different types of mysticism 
is discussed by Thomas H. Hughes of the University of Edinburgh in 


his Philosophical Basis of Mysticism. He finds the division into 
Mild and Extreme Types, into Cognitive and Conative Mystics, and 
into Affirmative and Negative Mystics not "a sufficiently distinctive 
classification since it rests on a principle which is not essential to the 
mystical Faith." In preference he would use Rudolf Otto's Soul- 
mysticism and God-mysticism, or Dean Inge's Speculative, Practical, 
Devotional and Nature Mysticism, though these do not allow for 
over-lapping. The most generally accepted grouping, according to 
Mr. Hughes, is Philosophical, Nature, and Religious Mysticism. 

Nature Mysticism is rooted in divine immanence, Philosophical 
mysticism in divine transcendence, Religious mysticism at its best 
combines the two: union with the Personal God, for transcendence 
and immanence are reconciled in personality. 

By this classification, Rufus Jones clearly belongs with the religious 
mystics. God to Rufus Jones was personal in the sense that we can 
enter into a relationship with him. To use Martin Buber's term, He is 
not the God of the Philosophers, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob, to whom we can say, "O Thou!" 

Beyond that, Rufus Jones's mysticism is profoundly Quaker. It is 
colored by the Quaker strain that has come through his home and 
the meeting, through his reading of Quaker sources, through his 
knowledge of the New Testament and the primitive Christianity to 
which seventeenth century Quakerism was a conscious return. Though 
he found immense inspiration in Plotinus, in Eckhart, Tauler, the 
Theologia Germanica, and Ruysbroeck, he was happiest with them 
when they were expressing, in other terms, ideas which were Quaker 
ideas; also when they moved away, he was obliged to say sadly, as 
he did of the author of the Theologia Germanica, "I go most of the 
way in joyous company with this dear man whom, not having seen, 
I love. But I cannot finally be satisfied with any system of thought 
which empties this world here below of present spiritual significance 
or which robs the life of a human personality of its glorious mission 
as an organ of the Life of God here and now, and which postpones 
the Kingdom of God to a realm where the Perfect is a One with no 

His rejection of the negation mystic's withdrawal from the world 
is characteristic of Quaker thought and practice. "True godliness," 
wrote William Penn, "does not turn men out of the world, but 
enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend 
it." Quakers marry, engage in business, occupy themselves with a 


hundred activities to improve the world. In their meetings for worship 
and in times of private meditation, it is true, they withdraw from dis- 
tractions, even the religious distractions of ritual and sacred music, 
but the insights which they receive at such times they return to the 
world to put into effect as best they can. "The history of the 
Society of Friends," writes Howard Brinton, "shows that acceptance 
of the principle of withdrawal in worship has not resulted in any 
attempt at final or complete withdrawal. The negative journey to the 
Light was invariably followed by the positive journey to the needy 
but good world." "Those who see God," said Rufus Jones, "must gird 
for service. Those who would have a closer view of the divine must 
seek it in a life of love and sacrifice." 

George Fox was to Rufus Jones preeminently the type of the 
affirmation mystic. "He thought of man, raised to his full spiritual 
height, as an organ of the life of God. The early Friends, his followers, 
knew of no limits to what God could do through a man or a woman, 
raised by His power to stand and live in the same Spirit that the 
prophets and apostles were in who gave forth the Scriptures. They 
made conquest of their fears, they were released from a sense of 
danger, they became concentrated and unified spirits dedicated to the 
task of building the Kingdom of God according to the pattern in 
the Mount." 

Ascetic practices, characteristic of medieval mysticism, have never 
been part of Quaker discipline. The testimony of temperance comes 
from social and moral reasons, not from a desire to mortify the flesh. 
Quaker simplicity in dress and speech arose out of a concern for 
truth and sincerity. Good food has always seemed to Friends one of 
the God-given pleasures of life which there is no reason to put aside 
except as by cutting down one's own supply one can share with those 
in need. Rufus Jones himself had always a healthy, human interest 
in food. His letters home often report on good meals he has enjoyed 
or bad ones he has suffered from, and lobsters and new peas were 
high among the joys of his summer home in Maine. 

His view of mysticism was also strongly colored by the Quaker 
idea of the sacraments, of which a brief statement may be found in 
Faith and Practice, the book of Christian discipline published by 
the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. "With full appreciation of the 
help which has come through the outward forms to countless genera- 
tions of Christians, Friends symbolize by their very lack of symbols 
the essentially inward nature of the sacraments. Friends testimony 
is not a negative protest but an affirmation of the sacramental nature 


of the whole of life when it is under the leading of the Spirit." The 
Eucharist, which Rufus Jones sometimes accepted when he was 
with other religious groups, was to him a moving ceremony but in 
no way a necessary door to communion with God. His admiration 
for Evelyn Underbill was tempered by his disappointment over her 
inability to understand the Quaker point of view on the sacraments 
and her insistence on the necessity of the communion service. "I have 
just read the proof for the American edition of Evelyn Underbill's 
Worship," he wrote to Violet Hodgkin Holdsworth. "It is an im- 
portant book, but she is quite unable to appreciate or even to under- 
stand the full meaning of Quaker worship without sacraments. I have 
talked with her frequently about this, but can never make her see 
what it means to us. She grows more high Church as she grows 
older and that side of her religious life overtops everything else; but 
she is a great soul." The affirmation mystic, Rufus Jones insisted, 
found God revealed in the finite. To him everything was sacramental. 
"Nothing now can be unimportant. There is more in the least event 
than the ordinary eye sees. Everywhere in the world there is stuff 
to be transmuted into divine material. Every situation may be turned 
into an occasion for winning a nearer view of God." 

Perhaps the most striking difference between Rufus Jones's mysti- 
cism and that of the classical mystic, whether affirmative or negative, 
and at the same time the most essentially Quaker element in it, was 
his conviction that mysticism flourished best in groups. Preparation 
must be made in the individual heart but the heightened receptivity 
of the group waiting in silence helped many to enter into an ex- 
perience of God which they would not have attained alone. There 
are many expressions of this fundamental Quaker principle, from 
Robert Barclay's statement in the seventeenth century: 

"As many candles lighted and put in one place do greatly augment 
the light and make it more to shine forth, so when many are gathered 
together into the same life there is more of the glory of God and His 
power appears to the refreshment of each individual, for each 
partakes not only of the light and life raised in himself but in all 
the rest," to Howard Brinton's brief sentence "Quakerism is peculiar 
in being a group mysticism, grounded in Christian concepts." 

Rufus Jones too found many ways and occasions to restate this 
truth. More than any other scholar he has studied and written about 
mystical groups; it is perhaps his most important contribution to the 
history of mysticism. 

"Mysticism flourishes best in a group," he wrote in New Studies in 


Mystical Religion, "and it can, if left to itself, produce out of its 
experience a type of organization that favors its growth and increase 
in depth and power." 

"The great fact remains," he had said even earlier in The American 
Friend, "that there is no greater gift than the gift of listening to God, 
and that there is no greater spiritual power than that which comes 
when a whole congregation is fused and melted in silent waiting 
and soul-worship before the living God, when God's presence can 
be felt and His voice heard so distinctly that no audible words 
are needed." 

Early Quakers, and many modern Quakers also, used the terms 
Light Within, Christ Within, Light of Christ, Seed of God, the 
Inward Teacher, That of God in every man, interchangeably. Rufus 
Jones seldom used the term "Christ Within." He used instead Spirit, 
Divine Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, Presence, the 
Over- World, and Emil Boutroux's term, "the Beyond that is Within." 
He believed that Christ who was both human and divine had come 
primarily to lead people to a new experience of God. "The greatest 
single thing about Christ," he said in China to the eager crowds 
that heard him there, "is His experience of God and His transmission 
of the life of God into the lives of men." "Christ was concerned 
to have men's lives flooded with the consciousness of God, to have 
them become 'rich in God.' " "The most unique thing to my mind 
about the Jesus of history is, not a new ethics or a new interpretation 
of society or a fresh message about the Kingdom of God, important 
as these are, but a new and most wonderfully rich experience of God 
that apparently had been growing and deepening all through those 
silent background years." 

A further question about Rufus Jones's own type of mysticism 
to be considered is this: Did he regard the mystical experience as 
open to everyone, or did he think it was a special gift or capacity de- 
termined by the individual psychic make-up or bestowed by God's 

There are to be found in his writings passages in which he seems 
to waver in his opinion or even to contradict himself wholly. "Some 
degree of this experience ... is probably present in us all," he wrote 
in Social Law in the Spiritual World. "Even the most prosaic 
of us are haunted by a Beyond." When he wrote Spiritual Re- 
formers, after long study and research on mystics who were spiritual 
geniuses, he seemed to change his mind. "It is an experience that is 


by no means universal. It is not, so far as we can see from the facts 
at hand, an experience which attaches to the very nature of con- 
sciousness as such, and indeed one which is bound to occur even when 
the human subject strains forward all the energies of his will for 
the adventure, or when by strict obedience to the highest laws of life 
known to him he waits for the high visitation." He goes on to describe 
persons "as serious and earnest and passionate as the loftiest mystical 
saint", who appear "impervious to divine bubblings" and he says that 
to make mystical experience the only way to God would be to set up 
an "election as rigid as that of the Calvinist system, one determined 
by the peculiar psychic structure of the individual." 

Later, in New Studies of Mystical Religion, he returned to a 
modification of his original position. "Mysticism is a normal trend 
of the soul and can be cultivated," he said. The capacity for mystical 
experience was normal, in the sense that it was not pathological or 
unbalanced or evidence of a diseased mind. It was, however, he sadly 
conceded, not universal, in the sense that it came naturally to every- 
body. "Probably in the last analysis the psychical disposition of the 
individual himself is the crucial factor," he said. "It comes only to 
those who can meditate, who can stop living by clock-time and space- 
speed and center down into that interior hush where the human 
spirit touches the skirts of God." 

Still later he asserted without qualification, "When I talk mysticism 
I mean something fundamental to the normal essential nature of the 
soul." And his final word, in A Call to What Is Vital, was: "The 
mystical trait — and I mean by it the consciousness of direct relation 
with God, existential religion — is not in any true sense confined to a 
small chosen list of religious geniuses, but is a feature of the demo- 
cratic laity as well as of the high pulpit class that form the usual 
lists." In this he differs from his friend, Dean Inge, who said cate- 
gorically in his Christian Mysticism, "Everybody is naturally either 
a mystic or a legalist." He did in the Prologue to The Flowering of 
Mysticism make a half-hearted attempt to differentiate between 
two distinct types of men, the biological man who has no interest in 
the Beyond and the man for whom the walls of separation between 
the seen and the unseen are thinner, but he quickly concluded that the 
distinction is "one of degree rather than type," that the gift of 
"correspondence" is present in "all normally endowed persons" but 
rises to a higher level in those with special gifts. 

The greatest mystics, Rufus Jones believed, have been religious 


geniuses. "They make their contribution to religion in ways similar 
to those in which the geniuses in other fields raise the level of human 
attainments and achievements." "All of the great capacities of the soul 
come to light best of course in persons who are geniuses." But he 
believed that there are far more mystics of the milder sort than is 
commonly supposed. "I am convinced that a great many of these 
so-called 'ordinary persons' have a sense of contact with spiritual 
forces that give their lives an extraordinary effectiveness." Indeed, he 
even went so far as to say that many were mystics without knowing 
it. "By far the larger number of mystics probably live and die without 
explicitly knowing they are mystics . . . They quietly manifest 
in acts that energies not their own and incursions of power from be- 
yond themselves are coming through them." One of his favorite 
topics, which formed a chapter in his last book as well as several 
articles, was the mysticism of ordinary persons. Wherever he went 
he met people who had felt themselves "in contact with an environ- 
ing Presence and supplied with new energy to live by," and among 
his papers are some remarkable letters from otherwise unknown people 
telling him of experiences they had had. 

Though he believed that the capacity for such experience could 
be cultivated, and indeed in one place characterizes the mystic as 
one who "has cultivated with more strenuous care and discipline than 
others have done the native homing passion of the soul for the 
Beyond," there are no handbooks of mystical training to be found 
among Rufus Jones's fifty-four book titles. The classic "ladders" of 
ascent he considered suitable only to the few; to many these were 
"unreal and artificial." Though at one time he declared that it re- 
quired a "training analagous to the athlete's," he was for the most 
part dubious about techniques and well marked roadways, "con- 
vinced that the mystic way will always remain a way of surprise 
and wonder." 

He did nevertheless in several of his books give some hints and 
suggestions as to how the mystical aspirant may best pursue the serious 
business of his life, which is "to seek, to find, to love and to be in union 
with God." Though he did not use the word purgation he did regard 
the process of overcoming selfishness, of organizing the instincts and 
emotions, sublimating the old springs of action and energy and de- 
veloping new habit tracks as primary and essential. He did not 
sninimize the importance of concentration. "Training in concentra- 


tion," he pointed out, "is the first step toward any difficult goal in 
life. Meditation is simply concentration in a special field." 

"Preparation through appreciation of beauty, learning to sound 
the deeps of love, formation of purity, gentleness, tenderness of heart, 
freedom from harshness of judgment, absolute honesty of purpose and 
motive — these positive traits and qualities of life are far more im- 
portant steps on the inner pathway than are artificial techniques of 

The right use of great spiritual literature and the fellowship of 
"spiritually contagious persons" he also counted among the important 
aids to the deepening of the mystical capacity. 

Beyond these general suggestions, which apply as much to any 
person who wishes to live a good life in accordance with the will 
of God as to him who longs to achieve mystic union, he does not 
go. The technique of Yoga or of Zen Buddhism, which he recognized 
as being "a discipline of a very high order for the control of sense, of 
muscles, of imagination, of wandering thoughts, of human passion," 
did not, he believed, achieve the end which he saw as the desirable 
one. "Routine, cut-and-dried systems of discipline may help to make 
a Stoic temper, or to prepare a climber of Mt. Everest, or" — and here 
he makes one catch one's breath — "to forge a mystic of the type 
of St. John of the Cross, but these disciplines seem to me to be too 
doctrinaire and too remote from life to be satisfactory ways into the 
heart of divine reality." 

To many people any routine that could forge a mystic like St. 
John of the Cross would appear to leave nothing more to be desired. 
In another book Rufus Jones explained further what he meant about 
the Spanish saint. "If one wants to see a man who has climbed clear 
above the pleasure line and who lives in a height in which the pleasure 
spur is forgotten and has been left behind as though it did not exist, 
let him read St. John of the Cross. I admit that it sometimes seems to 
me as though, in leaving behind all reference to aspects of preference, 
of like and dislike, St. John has also left behind our human way of 
life and has withdrawn almost into a vacuum where exists very little 
of the air we mortals breathe ... I feel a sense of hush and awe in the 
presence of these tremendous lovers of God" (he was writing about 
Fenelon and Mme Guyon as well as St. John of the Cross) "but in 
my critical moments I am convinced that they are endeavoring to do 
what cannot be done and, I am bound to add, what ought not to be 
done. They propose to eliminate all the springs of action which 


characterize us as men, to obliterate all the concrete clues from 
human experience which serve as practical guides for us, and to walk 
only by a supernatural pillar of cloud and fire from above." 

A mysticism, however lofty, which left humanity behind, was 
foreign to Rufus Jones's thought. "I am interested," he said, "in a 
mysticism which brings life to its full rich goal of complete living, 
with radiance and joy and creative power." A mysticism, further- 
more, that did not find expression in creative service, remained to 
him incomplete. In describing John Woolman, who was to him the 
best expression of the ideal of Quaker mysticism, he told how Wool- 
man became extraordinarily tender to human need and sensitive to 
"every breath of wrong" which man does to man. "Here was a 
mysticism," he concluded, " — and it was the type to which I dedicated 
my life — which sought no ecstasies, no miracles of levitation, no 
startling phenomena, no private raptures, but whose over-mastering 
passion was to turn all he possessed, including his own life, 'into the 
channel of universal love.' " 


Great Occasions 

In 1935 Rufus Jones again became chairman of the board of the 
A.F.S.C. He had never put aside his interest in it or ceased to give time 
and counsel to it, but now once more he was at the helm and must be 
on hand for meetings of the board and the executive committee. The 
A.F.S.C. was completing the work that it had done with the families 
of unemployed miners and was becoming increasingly involved with 
the problems of refugees from Germany and Austria. The Jewish 
Joint Distribution Committee, with which it had cooperated in the 
Russian feeding in 1921-22, was taking responsibility for the Jewish 
refugees, but there were many who were only part Jewish, who had 
perhaps become Christian or who professed no religion at all, who did 
not come within the care of the J.D.C. These were the people whom 
the A.F.S.C. sought to help. 

In October the Five Years Meeting met again, and Rufus Jones 
was asked to be the presiding clerk. The entire meeting rose when 
he took the chair, and again at the end of the last session — a most 
unusual demonstration for Quakers and a signal evidence of the 
love and honor in which he was held. "To have lived through storms 
and controversy to this expression of love and unity," he wrote to 
Mary, "is a great consummation." The American Friend published 
a photograph of nine Friends who had been present at all the sessions 
from 1902 on, with Rufus Jones in the center. 

In November Bryn Mawr College celebrated its fiftieth anniversary 



with a great meeting in Goodhart Hall. M. Carey Thomas, aged 
seventy-eight, came out of retirement to don her cap and gown once 
more and dominate the proceedings. Indeed, they became a kind of 
tribute to her, for she, fiery, indomitable, arrogant, brilliant, far- 
sighted and dedicated, had, more than anyone else, made Bryn Mawr 
what it was, and through Bryn Mawr had influenced the whole course 
of higher education for women in America. 

Just a month later, Carey Thomas was dead. There was a small 
private service for her conducted after the manner of Friends and 
attended only by relatives and a few close friends — "I was at the little 
funeral for M. Carey Thomas yesterday," wrote Rufus Jones to 
Mary, "having been invited in her will to attend!" — and her ashes 
were buried as she desired in the cloisters of the library which she 
had loved. A few days later a large memorial service was held in 
Goodhart Hall, at which Rufus Jones, speaking for the directors, 
said the truest and most beautiful words that have ever been spoken of 

"She was unmistakably a child of the Renaissance. She was in the 
true succession of the great spirits which that new dawn nurtured. 
Like them she loved beauty in all its forms. She had a passion for 
excellence. She had a habit of leaping frontiers. She was bent on 
the liberation of the mind from every kind of bondage, convention 
and oppression and she was a knight-errant in that chivalry." 

Several years before, she had written her final estimation of him, 
in a letter: "In looking back over the progress of the college, it seems 
to me that thy understanding of college problems and thy de- 
terminedly liberal attitude, reinforced as it was by thy position as a 
preacher and religious worker, has been of inestimable advantage 
to the college ... I want thee to know that I appreciate better than 
anyone else what thee has done." 

At the end of the next year, Rufus Jones resigned the chairman- 
ship of the Bryn Mawr board — though not his membership of the 
board itself — and was succeeded by Charles J. Rhoads, the son of 
the first president, Indian commissioner under Herbert Hoover, 
banker, concerned Friend, and wise and courtly gentleman. Of its 
retiring president, the Board passed a Resolution, which said in part: 

"He has brought to the meetings the authority of the realist who 
got quickly to the questions at issue and of an idealist who refused 
to consider makeshift remedies. His wise counsels and his fine humor 
have often cleared away the fog of discussion." 


His lectures during that year began with a missionary conference 
at Asbury Park in January, which was presided over by John R. 
Mott. Kagawa, the famous Japanese evangelist, was on the same 
program. "Kagawa and I speak tomorrow afternoon," Rufus Jones 
wrote to his daughter, who was spending the winter in New York, 
— "at least I shall speak if he finishes in time for me to follow! I 
know his propensities of old and I can see a long run for the money!" 
February saw him travelling through the middle west, speaking in 
Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, to "every kind of group known" with as many 
as eighteen meetings in a single week. "It sounds appalling, doesn't 
it?" he wrote to Mary. "But I have no doubt it will unroll all right 
as the days file by. I am keen to put in as much 'deadly work' as 
possible in the brief time that remains before old age rips my stitches 
. . . Meantime the poor old world is going 'dotty' and nothing will 
cure it but the grace of God running through human channels." 

Earlier, on a trip to New England, he had had a somewhat unusual 
experience which he reported with zest to Mary: "I enjoyed my visit 
at Bradford College, but the chairman fainted dead away while he was 
introducing me! It was a novel experience to help carry him off and 
then to address the audience sans his trumpet blowing." 

During that year and the next he gave the Ayer Lectures at Roches- 
ter, the Cole Lectures at Vanderbilt, and the Earl Lectures at the 
Pacific School of Religion. Elizabeth Jones went with him to Cali- 
fornia and while they were there they dined with the Hoovers in 
Palo Alto. The Ayer Lectures, expanded, appeared in book form 
under the title, The Testimony of the Soul, the Cole Lectures, as 
Some Problems of Life, but the Earl Lectures, which had been en- 
titled "Continuous Revelation," were not published. He spoke at 
yearly meetings across the land, at a special convocation at Columbia 
to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Erasmus's death, and 
gave a six-week series of lectures on Quakerism at the Race Street 
Meeting in Philadelphia. 

His mail was enormous. "I wrote thirty letters yesterday," he 
reported to Mary. There were endless requests, reasonable and un- 
reasonable. "I have the honor of addressing you on a subject of 
importance to myself," began one letter, but that might have ac- 
curately been the preface to nine-tenths of them. He was asked to 
recommend a girls' day-school in Brooklyn, "where the influence 
would be really good," to read and comment on a variety of manu- 
scripts, to present copies of his books to The Theistic Endeavor 


Society, to recommend books on business and public ethics, to help a 
fifty-eight-year-old church member to conquer the sin of fornication, 
to prepare a three-thousand word paper to be entitled "Decadence" 
for "The Capital Magazine." "Would you please emphasize," specified 
the editor, "the melancholy of the decadence of anything, or every- 
thing in general." Perhaps the most striking was the suggestion which 
came as "a morning inspiration" to the writer, that Rufus Jones 
should "invite Edward and Wallis to join the American Friends 
Service Committee for the work in Spain, or one of the large groups 
of refugees in France or England, it would be to Edward and Wallis 
a worthy avenue of return to useful living and the hearts of critical 
fellow countrymen." 

When in 1936 Spain exploded into civil war, thousands of children 
who themselves "were neither Nationalist nor Loyalist" became home- 
less and destitute. English Friends were the first to act, but the 
A.F.S.C. followed soon after. It proved to be a three-year emergency 
relief program, in which the A.F.S.C, assisted by contributions from 
other organizations and individuals, provided milk for babies, supple- 
mentary feeding for children, mothers and old people, and distributed 

After the A.F.S.C. had been working in Spain for more than a 
year Theodore Dreiser, at the suggestion of President Roosevelt, 
came to see Rufus Jones at Haverford about setting up a committee 
of prominent citizens to sponsor the cause of civilian relief in Spain. 
They talked for about two hours, and Theodore Dreiser was deeply 
impressed by Rufus Jones's "vitality and comprehensive way of look- 
ing at things." 

They went together to call on various people in New York in an 
attempt to enlist their support for the plan, but without success. The 
joint effort had no result for the cause of Spanish relief, but during 
their association Dreiser was greatly drawn to Rufus Jones as a 
person. "Indeed," writes Gerhard Friedrich, "Jones was to Dreiser 
a fascinating phenomenon, highly esteemed and soon so diligently 
explored that his Quakerly image came to provide not only the 
stimulus but also the animus, long needed to carry Dreiser's abandoned 
Philadelphia Quaker novel to its completion under the title, The 

When in 1943, Dreiser wrote to Rufus Jones asking for the names 
of Quaker schools near Philadelphia, he added, "When I think 
of you and contrast you with the average so called Christian, I am 
inclined to use language that your temperament would not counte- 


nance. But I still and always will hold you in my very highest 

The year 1936 marked also the fruition of a cherished plan of Rufus 
Jones's, which had been in his mind for ten years or more. As he 
had travelled about Europe for the A.F.S.C. in the years following 
the war and then through the Orient in 1926, and as he went from 
college to university throughout the United States, he had become 
keenly aware of people who thought the Quakers had found answers 
to their own spiritual questions, scattered and isolated Friends who had 
no meeting near them, and people who were attracted to the Quaker 
philosophy through their touch with the work of the A.F.S.C. He 
felt their need and he sought a way to draw them into relationship 
with one another and with Friends. 

In Cairo in 1926, on his way home from China, as he addressed a 
group of such seekers, the idea came to him of a "wider Quaker 
fellowship, a looser, less completely organized group than the Society 
itself, which these people could join." Three years later in London 
at a joint meeting of the Friends Service Council and the Home 
Service Committee, he put his thought before English Friends. "There 
would be no conditions of membership in this fellowship except a 
readiness to dedicate oneself to the way of love, and a faith that 
man is a candle of the Lord and can become a center of radiance, an 
organ of the Spirit, just where he lives," he described it. "I am not 
interested any more in just clinging to the Society of Friends and 
preserving it," he said. "We stand at a crisis and we can be bearers 
of the torch as our fathers were or can carefully husband a little 
flame and keep it from going out a little longer." 

Interest and some agreement was expressed but there was no real 
answering enthusiasm. The danger of a two-level membership in the 
Society of Friends was the chief objection. 

Undaunted, he followed up this presentation with an article in 
the World Outlook, London, for January, 1930, called "That Wider 
Fellowship," in which he called Friends to a "new spiritual adventure." 
The first necessity, he declared, was the "revitalization of our own 
membership so that we may in fact and truth be the living spiritual 
nucleus of this enlarged fellowship." 

Rather ironically, since the idea never took hold in England, the 
name which Rufus Jones gave to the group and even the idea itself, 
may well have sprung from a dimly remembered report of London 
Yearly Meeting in 1906. Rufus Jones recorded in The American 
Friend, that " 'The Wider Fellowship' movement came again into 


prominence, and there was an earnest desire manifested that the great 
number of persons now coming under the influence of Friends 
through Adult Schools and in other ways might be drawn into closer 

Back in the United States he laid his concern before the Ministers 
and Elders of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, with the result that the 
Message Committee of the A.F.S.C. held a Retreat in April at Browns 
Mills, New Jersey, to pursue the subject. Sixty-five people represent- 
ing both branches of Philadelphia Quakerdom came, Rufus Jones 
enthusiastically proposed his plan, other papers were read, and a 
yeasty discussion followed, in which the difficulty caused by the 
separation between the two yearly meetings was raised and aired. No 
definite action was taken at this conference. Friends traditionally move 
slowly, and this was a new idea. Might it not have the effect of creat- 
ing yet another separate body of Friends? 

The seed nevertheless had been planted. The Message Committee of 
the A.F.S.C. grew into the Fellowship Committee, which in 1936 
became the American Friends Fellowship Council, representing all 
Friends, the function of which was to nurture the new small inde- 
pendent meetings which were beginning to spring up, chiefly in 
college communities, across the United States. One of its duties was to 
be "the formation of closer relations of fellowship with religious 
seekers and friends of the Friends in all parts of the world." 

This Council held a conference in the Florida Avenue Meetinghouse 
in Washington in January, 1936, at which Rufus Jones presided. He 
read a Letter to Seekers which he had written and which he pro- 
posed that the Fellowship Council should send out, inviting them to 
take part not in an organization but rather in a spontaneous reaching 
out and touching of hands. This letter is still used today as an invita- 
tion to all who express an interest. Rufus Jones saw the Wider 
Quaker Fellowship as a brotherhood, akin to the Third Order of St. 
Francis, "of persons who believe in a direct and immediate relation 
between the human soul and God, who are eager for refreshment 
and inspiration through times of silent communion with God and 
who in the faith that there are divine possibilities in all persons, would 
like to help promote, by the gentle forces of love and truth and 
friendliness, a way of life based on cooperation rather than on rivalries 
and contentions." 

So the Wider Quaker Fellowship was born. There were no dues, 
no by-laws, no officers. It was held together by letters, by occasional 


local gatherings, by intervisitation, and by a quarterly mailing of 
recent Quaker literature.* 

By 1937 it was reported that one hundred persons had become 
members, and by 1952 the number had grown to about 4000. People 
from Africa, South America, the Middle East, Europe, India, China, 
and Japan as well as from all parts of the United States, joined in the 
fellowship: Episcopal missionaries, students, pacifists, ministers of 
various denominations, rabbis, work campers, people of "Quaker 
background," writers, housewives. 

One of the earliest members was Vida Scudder, well-known writer 
and distinguished member of the Wellesley College faculty. "That 
fellowship is a sustaining reality to me," she wrote to Rufus Jones. 
"I think," she added candidly, "it's in a way easier to feel near to 
people you don't know in the flesh than to people you do." 

The Society of Friends had had in 1920 its first World Conference, 
held in London as soon as it had been possible after the first World 
War. In 1937, when the world was so plainly drifting toward a 
second and more terrible conflict, it was decided to hold another 
conference, this time in the United States. Early September was the 
date chosen, and Swarthmore College, outside of Philadelphia, the 
place. Rufus Jones was asked to preside over the meetings. 

He accepted, but the Conference loomed before him as an ordeal. 
He wrote to Violet Holdsworth in July, "In regard to the World 
Conference, I sincerely hope for good results, but I have become 
a good deal disillusioned over 'big' conferences and large gatherings. 
I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles in which vital 
and transforming events take place. But, others see differently, and I 
respect their judgment." 

He went to South China early that year. Near-by Colby College 
gave him an honorary doctorate of Sacred Theology, which he 
valued, but he had another recognition that pleased him much more. 
His daughter dedicated to him the history of the A.F.S.C., Swords 
into Ploughshares, which she had written. "The dedication," he 
wrote to her, "made me happier and prouder than any degree which 
the Universities have given me." 

He developed that summer a disagreeable buzzing in his ears, which 
troubled him greatly, for he feared that it was an indication of an 

* After the Second World War drove Emma Cadbury out of the Friends 
Center in Vienna, she took charge of this work of the Wider Quaker Fellowship, 
and has nurtured it ever since. 


injury to the brain or a forerunner of some mental illness. Though 
doctors assured him that it was not serious he slept badly and was 
nervously wrought up and disturbed. This buzzing he never quite 
got rid of, but he learned to accept it. 

A thousand Friends gathered in Swarthmore on the first of Sep- 
tember, five hundred Americans and five hundred from other parts 
of the world, from the continent of Europe, from Africa, from India, 
from China and Japan. Thirteen German Friends were there. The 
weather was oppressively hot and air conditioning was not yet general. 
Nevertheless the meeting was a united, joyful, and hopeful one. 

One of its high features was a broadcast by Rufus Jones, beamed 
by short wave to Europe, on the nature of Quakerism. A superb 
brief statement, summing up the Quaker philosophy and ideals, setting 
forth the Quaker stand on war, it brought enthusiastic letters from 
various parts of England, from the western isles of Scotland, from 
Germany. Rufus Jones's old friend, Sir George Newman, wrote to 
him, "It was indeed a noble exposition of the Quaker Faith and if 
thou hadst never told the world anything else this is sufficient — 
sufficient to justify thy glorious record." 

Rufus Jones himself wrote an evaluation of the Conference for the 
London Friend. "Three sessions in the middle of the Conference have 
been dominated by these supreme issues of the modern world [i.e., 
problems of securing justice and making peace prevail.] The discus- 
sions have reached high levels of thought and interpretation. They 
have been carried on in a spirit of forbearance and much of the time 
in essential unity of purpose. I have never seen a large gathering 
handle difficult questions in better manner." 

He made the same criticism that he had made of the 1920 con- 
ference: "Friends do not stand very well the deepest and severest 
test of their spiritual quality — their ability to worship God in spirit 
and in truth in large corporate gatherings. We talk and write effusively 
about this major business of life. We can point to glorious passages 
that have been produced by ready pens, but to do the thing itself in 
actual practice and experience is a rare achievement in any part of the 
Quaker heritage. It was never up to the ideal in this Conference, but 
it was at least as good as is usually the case in gatherings of this 
size." The silence, so precious and so necessary for Quaker worship, 
is usually shattered when large numbers of Friends assemble. 

"The Conference was a great occasion," Rufus Jones wrote to 
Violet Holdsworth when it was all over, "but it 'took' about all 
there was in me. No more but my love!" 


South Africa 

Xvufus Jones's seventy-fifth birthday, like his seventieth, was 
celebrated with a dinner party given by the Friends Social Union, 
with speeches, poems, telegrams and letters. In addition a volume 
called Children of Light, with chapters on Quaker subjects by 
leading writers among Friends, was published in his honor. In the 
introduction, Howard Brinton, who had become director of Pendle 
Hill after the death of Henry Hodgkin, paid tribute to Rufus Jones 
as a historian. The book was, he wrote, "a gesture of appreciation to 
a historian who is also a philosopher, a social reformer, and most 
notably a great exponent of Christian mysticism ... In his hands 
history has become not a rehearsal of occurrences but a drama of souls 
seeking and finding fulfilment of God." 

Less than a week later Rufus and Elizabeth Jones set sail for South 
Africa on the invitation of South African Quakers and with the sup- 
port and encouragement of the Service Committee. Rufus Jones at 
seventy-five was in radiant health, erect, glowing, serene. Except for 
the persistent buzzing in his ears, the bodily ailments which had trou- 
bled him earlier had disappeared. He had found the way to carry a 
heavy schedule of writing, speaking and committee work and still to 
be unhurried, to have leisure for the people who sought him out. Part 
at least of his secret could be discovered in his wife. Elizabeth Jones 
was now sixty-seven; sunny, unruffled, with her own brand of humor, 
her own spiritual depths, she was ever at hand, finding missing objects, 



ready to go or to stay behind at need, making the home a place of 
refreshment and renewal. 

Even so recently as 1938 people did not fly around the world in a 
matter of hours. When Rufus and Elizabeth Jones embarked on the 
City of New York, with the intention of going on from Africa to 
China and Japan and so home across the Pacific, they were setting 
out on a long journey, with many days at sea before them. Friends 
saw them go with some apprehension and a great welling up of 
tenderness, but they themselves set out in high spirits. 

They enjoyed the life aboard ship and the people whom they met. 
They reached the equator after thirteen days, and the next day Rufus 
Jones reported with delight his first sight of the Southern Cross. On 
the seventeenth of February the ship put in at St. Helena, and every- 
body went ashore to see Napoleon's grave and Longwood, the house 
in which he lived out his last years. 

"It was a rare day of sightseeing," wrote Rufus Jones to his 
daughter. "We enjoyed it much more than poor old Nap. ever did. 
It made me think of the rock on which Prometheus was chained." 

On Stunt Night Rufus Jones gave his famous Fourth of July 
Oration, a parody of the old time Independence day oratory. 

After a little over three weeks at sea they reached Capetown and 
settled down for a fortnight in a comfortable little hotel on Sea 
Point, with a view of Table Mountain on one side and the ocean 
on the other. 

Their first concern was with the little group of a hundred and 
twenty Friends scattered among three monthly meetings centering 
in Capetown, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, who needed sympathy 
and encouragement in the face of the tightening racial tensions and 
the rising tide of public opinion so at variance with their own con- 
victions. Rufus Jones also wanted to speak to as many college and 
university groups as possible and to talk with leading citizens where- 
ever he could, to learn from them about the race situation. 

On their second day in Capetown he had dinner with Senator Rein- 
hault Jones, who represented the non-European races in Parliament, 
and who was to help him to arrange his speaking engagements in 
colleges. The next day he met General Smuts. He went to the Parlia- 
ment House and sent in his card, and he and Elizabeth Jones were 
invited immediately to have tea with the General in his office. 

Jan Christian Smuts was then sixty-eight, tall and white-haired, 
with a neat white beard and brilliant, searching blue eyes. He was 


Minister of Justice in a Fusion cabinet and deputy Prime Minister to 
J.B.M. Hertzog, the leader of the Nationalist Party. Like Rufus 
Jones, Smuts came out of a simple farm background. Their lives had 
followed vastly different paths, but the basis for understanding was 
there. Smuts had had many friends among the English Quakers; 
one of his daughters had married a Friend. He had philosophical 
interests. At Cambridge, when he was a student there, he had written 
a seventy-thousand-word treatise entitled "Walt Whitman — A Study 
in the Evolution of Personality," in which he set forth theories which 
he later developed more fully in his book, Holism and Evolution. 
Though he came to it through war and politics, world peace was one 
of the major concerns of his later life. His pamphlet, "The League 
of Nations — A Practical Suggestion," published in December, 19 18, 
was enthusiastically read by Wilson and helped to prepare the way 
for the Covenant; he represented South Africa at the Peace Confer- 
ence and pointed out vigorously if fruitlessly the pitfalls in the 
Versailles Treaty; he was to take an important part in the San 
Francisco Conference in 1945. 

"We had a delightful hour with him in extremely friendly conversa- 
tion with him," wrote Rufus Jones. Smuts was saddened over the 
world situation, he reported, but still hopeful, though he did not think 
the cure would come in his life time. He felt that his life work had 
failed in South Africa. 

"He pointed out what a snarl of complication of races and sus- 
picions and hatred had beset this land from its beginnings to the 
present moment. I remarked that I thought he was going to turn 
from political activity to the field of philosophy in which he had 
shown such marked aptitude. No, he said, for better or for worse 
I have put my hand to this plow and I cannot turn back." 

Rufus Jones found him far more sympathetic to the native races 
than he had expected. " 'My people, the Boers,' he said, 'have compli- 
cated the whole race situation by their intense Old Testament idea of 
being "a peculiar people," the one and only chosen of the Lord. They 
have throughout their history in South Africa proudly maintained 
that stern attitude and it has made them hard toward all other races • 
and peoples and it has prevented any fair and proper treatment of 
other races. I have come,' he continued, 'to see that one of the most 
amazing things about Jesus, the supreme Figure in the entire history 
of the world, was the way He dealt with that claim. He swept it away 
and announced a gospel for the whole world — a message of universal 


brotherhood regardless of race or color or position. This sweep of 
universal inclusiveness is what cost Jesus His life. The moment He 
announced this superracial view He had the peculiar people set 
against Him and determined to destroy Him.' . . . 

"I asked him if the education of the natives would not increase 
their race consciousness and make them much less passive and sub- 
missive ... 'In any case the natives must be educated, and in my 
judgment,' he added, 'they must be educated with the European 
whites. If they are educated in segregation they will not be adapted 
and adjusted to the world civilization of our epoch.' . . . 

"The years have softened this great man," Rufus Jones concluded. 
"His deeper ideals have ripened and he has taken on the vision of a 
prophet and he has caught much of the spirit of the Galilean." 

Besides three meetings with the Capetown Friends, Rufus Jones 
addressed a public meeting on the Quaker way of life and philosophy 
of service, but only a hundred of "these strict Calvinists and High 
Episcopalians" came. "So far I have not met student audiences," he 
was writing plaintively on the first of March, but three days later 
he had a day packed to the brim with them. He went to Stellenbosch, 
near Capetown, where in the morning he spoke to the Training 
College for Teachers and to the Theological School, both parts of the 
University of Stellenbosch. In the afternoon he spoke to another 
Training School for Teachers in Wellington. "I got on famously 
at the Stellenbosch Theol. Sem." he reported delightedly to Mary, 
"where they wouldn't allow Stanley Jones to speak. He was too 

On the way from Stellenbosch to Wellington they stopped to see 
the vineries which were the chief industry of that part of the Cape 
Province and picked grapes. The whole day, Elizabeth Jones wrote, 
was spent in an Afrikaans atmosphere, away from the English. 

One day General Smuts gave a luncheon in their honor at the Parlia- 
ment Building. Rufus Jones described the General's wife as "unique, 
fresh, vigorous, and very practical. When she heard I was a Quaker, 
she said, Then of course you are a banker, and when I said I was a 
philosopher, she said, Then of course you are poor!" 

When Rufus Jones asked the General what chance there was of 
the Protectorates, Swaziland, Basutoland and Bechuanaland being 
brought into the Union, he replied that it would take years before 
it could be done. 

"Then I boldly put the question: what is your judgment on the 


policy of absorption. He said he was convinced that it would be for 
the decided advantage of the natives in these countries. He thinks that 
they retrogress if left to themselves. They need white stimulus." 

The following day General Smuts, as Chancellor of the University 
of Capetown, presided over the installation of the vice-chancellor. At 
the end of his speech, Rufus Jones noted with satisfaction, he said, 
"World peace must become the greatest of our human interests." 

Rufus Jones had another visit with the statesman-general before he 
and Elizabeth Jones left Capetown for Johannesburg. He went to say 
good-by, intending just to leave his card with the secretary, but she 
sent it in to the General, who came out cordially and insisted that 
Rufus Jones have tea once more in his office. "So we sat and had a 
lovely visit and talk. He has been extremely nice to us all through." 

Smuts expressed his opinion of Rufus Jones some years later in a 
letter to Margaret Gillett of Oxford. "There is something in the spirit 
of Rufus Jones which appeals very much to the best in me. His 
'Eternal Gospel' I consider a very great book, perhaps the best on 
religion written in our day, and I always love to return to his 
simple, direct and fundamental Quaker outlook. My own world 
takes me far away from that simple association with life's deepest 
things. I live in the strife, the struggle, the noise and often the dust 
and dirt which form so much of our human environment and I 
enjoy all the more a return to that inner world of the spirit as re- 
flected in R.J.'s thought." 

On their way to the station to take the train for Johannesburg on 
March twelfth, they saw the newspaper headlines blazing forth Hitler's 
ultimatum to Austria and Schuschnigg's resignation, and they had the 
whole journey of nearly a thousand miles to ponder on its meaning. 

"We are crushed by the news from Austria," Rufus Jones wrote 
to Clarence Pickett in a rare tone of despondency. "It is one of the 
most crashing blows that has fallen in this world of clouds and dark- 
ness and no man can see what will emerge from such desperate 
action. I am full of sorrow over Schuschnigg who was a brave good 
man trying to do his duty." 

In Johannesburg, the fifty-year-old, gold-rush city six thousand 
feet high on the Witwatersrand plateau, they spent the next ten days. 
One day they went to tea with Judge and Mrs. Millin, who as Sarah 
Gertrude Millin, the author of God's Step-Children, was well known 
as South Africa's leading writer. "We had a glorious visit with Ger- 
trude Millin, the novelist," Rufus Jones wrote enthusiastically. "To- 


morrow we are to spend the day in Pretoria where I have three 
addresses, two big meals and probably a score of teas. It [i.e. tea] 
comes like April showers early and often." 

A meeting with the ministers of the city, "a glorious occasion," 
lectures at the University of the Witwatersrand, a sermon in the 
leading Presbyterian Church, meetings with Johannesburg Friends, 
and conversations with prominent citizens, filled up the days in 
Johannesburg, and they were off to Durban, five hundred miles away 
on the coast of the Indian Ocean. 

Elizabeth Jones, writing to Mary of their experiences in Durban, 
broke off to interpolate, "Here I stopped to find the cards of a lecture 
for tomorrow night, which were irrevocably lost but now are 

From Durban they made a loop that took in Bloemfontein, Gra- 
hamstown and Port Elizabeth, and returned to Durban again. In 
Grahamstown they stayed with J. Sneath Thomas, the Master of 
Rhodes University, and his wife. The two big meetings at Rhodes 
provided for Rufus Jones the "peak" of his student meetings. He 
and the Master of Rhodes had many congenial conversations on 
philosophy, and F. William Fox, clerk of the Transvaal Monthly 
Meeting, reported to Rufus Jones afterwards, "I came up in the train 
with the new principal of Rhodes. What impressed him most about 
your visit was your profound knowledge of Paracelsus, about which 
he thought he knew 'about everything' as you would say!" 

From Grahamstown he motored to Healdtown and Fort Hare, 
where he spoke to large groups of native students. His talk at the 
Theological Seminary and Bible Training School was translated into 

Easter was spent in Port Elizabeth, where the first General Meeting 
of Friends in five years was held. Otto Pietz from Germany was 
also there, and the three foreign Friends found that they had indeed 
a service to perform in raising the spirits of the dejected little group 
of twenty-five Friends and a few "attenders" who gathered there. 

"The meetings out here are so small and feeble that the members 
had felt discouraged and almost [ready] to 'surrender.' But when 
the leaders got together with a few visitors from abroad they found 
new courage and went home with new born hope ... I have seldom 
seen a little band so uplifted and changed in attitude and expectation." 

Back in Durban, preparing to leave South Africa, Rufus Jones 
summed up his two months' visit for Clarence Pickett and the A.F.S.C. 


Board. "We have covered 3500 miles of travel in S. Africa. We have 
attended all the Quaker meetings except the little one at Craddock and 
all the Friends there were at the General Meeting. We have personally 
met most of the individual Friends and twenty-eight of the 'attenders'. 
We have had the most happy contacts and have formed lasting 

He had also visited the four universities and four of the five uni- 
versity colleges and lectured to them all. The only one that he had 
not been able to visit was that at Polchefstrom, "where they speak 
Afrikaans and do not like English addresses." It is probable that they 
would not have liked his ideas either. 

His lectures covered a wide range of subjects, none of which were 
directly concerned with race. To the universities he spoke on: The 
Need for a New Emphasis in Education; Do History and Science In- 
dicate Human Progress?; The Revealing Aspect of Great Literature; 
The Way of the Mystic; St. Francis of Assisi; The Heroic Period in 
Luther's Life; The Spiritual Aspect of Human Life (Personality). 
His popular addresses, which included Rotary Club luncheons, bore 
the titles: Some Great Adventures; New Installment of Life; Finding 
the Whole of Oneself; Justifiable Expectation; Life as a Fine Art; The 
Hero in Thy Soul. 

His conclusions on South Africa inevitably bore a note of sadness. 
The race problem was deeper, darker and more complex than he 
had thought, the resources to meet and untangle it more feeble, more 
timid. It was not by chance that through so many of his talks ran the 
summons to adventure and courage. "There is widespread timidity to 
say the brave word or to do the manly thing," he wrote in his pocket 
diary . . . "The real test of Christianity is its success in bringing true 
unity and fellowship between the white followers of Christ and the 
races of color." 

They left Durban on the Barentz on the 26th of April, for the three- 
week voyage to Batavia, where they were to transship for Hong 
Kong. Just before reaching Batavia, however, they ran into the tail 
end of a monsoon, which delayed them so that they lost their connec- 
tion with the boat for Hong Kong. Accordingly they went on to 
Singapore, where they spent two or three days in the famous Raffles 
Hotel, waiting for the next boat for China. Late in May they reached 
Canton and had a brief but happy visit with Dr. William and Catharine 

The dark and threatening clouds of aggression in Austria and of 


racial hatreds in South Africa had become the storms of actual war in 
China. When the ship entered Shanghai Harbor, where Japanese bombs 
had destroyed the lighthouse, it struck a rock and came very close to 
sinking. For a time the passengers stared death in the face, until the in- 
coming tide lifted the crippled boat off and it limped to safety. "I 
don't know whether Mother has made the account of our ship's col- 
lision with Diamond Rock as harrowing as it ought to be," wrote 
Rufus Jones as a postscript to his wife's letter to Mary, "but it easily 
takes its place among the most stirring moments of one's life. When 
we got on deck with life jackets there rose in front not more than 
ten or twelve feet away a huge rock as high as the ship and we had 
rammed it head on and then swung round side to it with the rushing 
current swirling between us and it ... I am glad to say we were 
favored to keep in great peace." 

While they were in Shanghai the news came of Japanese air-raids 
on Canton, which took place just after they left. "A terrible holocaust 
— men, women and children. Over ioo wounded and dying brought 
to our hospital alone this morning," wrote William Cadbury. 

Shanghai was suffering not only from the devastation of war but 
from an epidemic of cholera then raging. Rufus Jones, who had come 
primarily to survey the need and plan an A.F.S.C. relief program there, 
was spared no sight of the suffering. "I have been pretty well over 
the destroyed areas and seen enough trouble to last the rest of my 
life. The weather is abominable and especially so today. I came back 
very wet. I am kept on a constant 'go' from morning to night with 
two or three addresses thrown on top of the visits to scenes of desola- 
tion. I dread the time in Tokio," he added, "for it is so very difficult 
to know what to say to those whom we shall meet there." 

The climate of thought in Japan had changed sharply from that 
of his last visit. During the days that he was in Tokyo, his contacts 
were almost entirely confined to the Japanese Friends, who were 
themselves in a difficult and possibly dangerous position. Pacifists, 
part of an international body most of whose members were English 
and American, they were under the suspicion of the now dominant 
war party. Rufus Jones, coming to them greatly troubled from China, 
found words of love and humility with which to speak to them. 

"I have asked you to meet us here today," he said, "not that I might 
tell you what is your duty in this war, not that I might give you an 
easy formula of action, but rather that together we might renew the 


fellowship of the spirit and that we might feel the touch of a friendly 
hand of love." 

After more than five months away he returned, a little tired, a little 
saddened, to his beloved refuge in South China. Whatever his travels 
and engagements might be, he generally managed to save for himself 
a quiet time at Pendle Hill, where he could watch the sunsets and the 
thunderstorms over China Lake and refresh himself with the beauty 
of nature which was to him an expression of the reality of God. 

The Eternal Gospel was published in the year 1938. He finished 
the writing of his scholarly and important book on the fourteenth 
century mystics, The Flowering of Mysticism, which would be 
published the following year. He drafted a number of speeches and 
wrote a dozen or more articles for periodicals. It might seem that with 
his trip around the world, this was enough activity for a man of 
seventy-five, but there loomed ahead a service more fraught with 
danger, more loaded with tension, more difficult yet more radically 
optimistic than any single action he had yet undertaken. 


Mission to the Gestapo 

. » . ».» ■ «» .. r^» .. » < i » i .1^. . » .^i ^ ^ ^ ^ 

\^/n November 9 and 10, 1938, now known as the Day of Broken 
Glass, occurred an event that sent a shudder of horror and foreboding 
through the western world. Throughout Germany and Austria, by 
a prearranged and carefully planned movement officially declared 
spontaneous, men broke into Jewish homes, stores and synagogues, 
smashed the windows, looted the contents, terrified and in some cases 
injured the inmates, and carried off some thirty-five thousand able- 
bodied Jewish men to concentration camps. This outrage, while the 
world outside was still gasping, was followed up by proclamations 
forcing Jews out of their homes and jobs and denying them permission 
to buy necessary supplies in Gentile shops. 

The A.F.S.C. in Philadelphia was instantly alert. Cables to the 
Quaker Centers in Berlin and Vienna accompanied anxious confer- 
ences and committee meetings in the quiet offices at Twenty South 
1 2th Street, and within a week a special refugee division of the 
Foreign Service Section was established. Clarence Pickett had been 
in Europe the previous summer and had seen the growing desperation 
of the Jews there. Reports from workers had pled with increasing 
urgency for affidavits for people who wanted to escape from Germany 
before it was too late. 

The immediate fear was that the Jews would be unable to get food 
and that starvation would complete what violence had begun. Was a 
Quaker feeding program in Germany again tragically necessary? 



Rufus Jones and Clarence Pickett went to Washington to talk with 
the State Department and with the German Ambassador, Hans Hein- 
rich Dieckhoff, about the possibility of sending a small mission to 
Germany to find out what the situation actually was, to determine 
whether relief was needed and if it could be sent. Dieckhoff, who had 
been in Washington a little over a year, was not himself a member of 
the Nazi party, but was close to it and a propagandist for it. He re- 
ceived the two Friends courteously and said that he thought a mission 
might well go to Berlin. What was needed, he said, were plans for an 
orderly emigration of Jews from Germany. The State Department 
encouraged the idea of a Quaker feeding program and urged that the 
proposed delegation be sent as quickly as possible. 

The two returned to Philadelphia and held quiet conversations with 
members of the Executive Committee and the Board. The unpredict- 
able fury of the Nazi authorities and the extremely precarious position 
of the Jewish people made caution and discretion essential. It was 
decided to send, without any publicity at all, three representatives to 
Germany to observe conditions and to feel out the possibilities for al- 
leviating the plight of the Jews. 

The knowledge of the past relationship between the A.F.S.C and the 
German people made it seem both appropriate that such a mission 
should go and possible that it might find an opening not available to 
others. The feeding of the German children after the first World War 
had left a legacy of gratitude and of recognition of the reconciling 
nature of Quaker concern. Since those days of greatest need, more- 
over, there had been continuing, though much smaller, Quaker pro- 
grams. In Vienna victims on both sides of recent political conflicts had 
been succoured. Since Friends in taking food for the body had always 
sought to take food for the spirit as well, there arose an unquenchable 
though largely unspoken hope among those who helped prepare for 
the mission that some opportunity might arise for reaching the Nazi 
leaders, who must surely be touched by the goodness and love of these 
three Friends. The three who were going, however, steadfastly dis- 
claimed such extravagant purposes, maintaining only an attitude of 
open-minded and humble availability. 

The three men chosen were Rufus Jones, D. Robert Yarnall, a 
"weighty" Philadelphia Friend, a manufacturer who like many others 
had taken time away from his business to serve the A.F.S.C. in Ger- 
many during the child-feeding, and George A. Walton, the well- 
known and well-loved principal of George School outside Philadelphia. 


Members of the Five Years Meeting, the Arch Street Yearly Meeting 
and the Race Street Yearly Meeting respectively, they represented a 
large proportion of American Quakerdom. 

Several days before they left for Germany, the three met at Clarence 
Pickett's house in Wallingford for a final conference. It was perhaps 
at this farewell meeting that Rufus Jones uttered the warning words 
against "illusions" about the venture which he later recorded: "Matter 
is no doubt stubborn but nothing in the universe is so utterly uncon- 
querable as a mind possessed by a set of ideas that have become en- 
trenched and sacred . . . We can almost certainly accomplish some 
practical things which need personal attention. Whether we can 
influence minds or soften hearts or make spiritual forces seem real — 
that remains to be seen. We shall do our best and wisest and we shall 
go in the strength of God." 

It was a day of wind and sleet, and Mary Hoxie Jones, driving her 
father back to Haverf ord afterwards over ten skidding miles of almost 
invisible, ice-coated roads, felt that all the omens were bad and that 
an aura of doom and disaster hung over the undertaking. Rufus Jones 
was nearly seventy-six. He faced a December crossing of the Atlantic 
and a frigid reception in Berlin. The Nazis had shown themselves to 
be without pity and without regard for the opinion of the world 
beyond Germany. There seemed to her small chance that such a 
gentle good will mission could make the slightest impression upon 
those stony hearts and a rather large chance that some officially spon- 
taneous action in a dark street might put an end to it before it so 
much as got started. 

The three sailed unnoticed from New York on the Queen Mary 
on December second. On the ship the first day Rufus Jones met his 
old friend E. Stanley Jones and his wife and daughter, and it was 
promptly decided that the two parties should share a table in the 
dining-room. The conversation at table throughout the crossing was 
stimulating and lively, and George Walton recorded in his journal that 
Rufus Jones's fund of stories was inexhaustible and that he never re- 

The second day out they worked on a memorandum, drafted by 
Rufus Jones, which was to be left with those whom they interviewed. 
George Walton, who, knowing no German, felt that he was less well- 
equipped than the other two for the mission, wrote in his journal: 
"Despite their greater knowledge they are open-minded without any 
fixed purpose, except to see and learn and to be Friends. Like myself 


they are amazed at the interest shown in our effort by those who 
know of it and staggered by their faith that we can do something." 

A day later the degree of that interest became uncomfortably and 
even dangerously evident. Rufus Jones was called to the telephone 
by a reporter from the Philadelphia Record. The Associated Press had 
picked up a note in The Earlhamite that Rufus Jones had cancelled 
an engagement to speak at Earlham College in order to go to Germany 
"to see Hitler," and the Record, having telephoned the Jones house 
in Haverford in the middle of the night and got no satisfaction, made 
contact with Rufus Jones by radio telephone. 

"The man on the Record tells me," he wrote to his wife, "that an 
article in the Earlhamite has let our cat out of the bag and the Asso- 
ciated Press is to tell of our trip and I am afraid will carry an un- 
fortunate account of our trip. I told the Record to mention no names 
of persons to be visited for we had no fixed appointments and were 
waiting to see what would open. I am afraid, however, that the news- 
papers will do much harm to our cause." 

The Record on Monday morning carried ribbon headlines: "Friends 
Society Sends Mission to Intercede for German Jews. Philadelphians 
Plan Plea for All Minorities. Dr. Jones Reviews Aim in Ship-to-Shore 
Phone Talk." The story continued in ordinary type: "Three Phila- 
delphia leaders of the Society of Friends are en route to Europe to 
intervene personally with Chancellor Adolf Hitler on behalf of the 
persecuted Jewish and other minority groups in Germany." Their de- 
parture on Friday, it said with blithe unconcern, "was shrouded in the 
greatest secrecy." Rufus Jones was quoted as saying, "We are going 
as quietly as possible . . . We don't know how high up in the German 
Government we will be able to go." 

The reporter had had time to interview also other, unnamed Friends 
in Philadelphia, and was able to announce that "some members of the 
Society of Friends likened the expedition to Henry Ford's ill-starred 
Peace Ship junket in December 191 5, when the motor manufacturer 
sought almost single-handed to end the World War." 

A spate of articles and editorials followed in papers which had been 
scooped because they had chivalrously forborne to report what they 
knew for fear of damaging the mission's chances of success. The New 
York Sun recalled the mission of two Quaker servant girls to the 
Sultan of Turkey in 1658. The Philadelphia Evening Bidletin said, "In 
the exploratory mission to Germany of three members of the Society 
of Friends there arises the hope that something tangible may be ac- 


complished for the relief of the persecuted of all religious denomina- 

The striking thing about all the publicity was the interest shown in 
the undertaking, the hope that was so ready to spring up and the 
respect that clung around the Quaker name. What was in the begin- 
ning a despised and ridiculed movement and for more than a century 
a withdrawn and peculiar sect, now in the public eye had acquired a 
sort of magic which made miracles possible if not probable. 

The Queen Mary meanwhile continued on its way across the tum- 
bling gray winter ocean. Rufus Jones bought a "beret cap," he talked 
to his companions on Nietzsche and his influence on Nazi philosophy, 
and surprised them, well as they knew him, "by his philosophical grasp 
and creative power." Robert Yarnall read Mein Kampf and found 
that "the Hitler attitude toward pacifists and Jews is so condemnatory 
that he fears we will accomplish nothing but find official minds closed 
to all we know and believe in." 

At Plymouth at seven-thirty in the morning of the seventh they 
were met by Joan Fry and a Dutch Friend, who came on board and 
rode with them to Cherbourg. Two London newspapers had the story 
of their going to see Hitler — "even worse than the Record" Rufus 
Jones commented — and English Friends were a little doubtful about 
this expedition. They themselves had already sent four German-speak- 
ing Friends to travel about Germany in an inconspicous way collecting 
facts about the situation, and they had been able to maintain silence. 

In Paris that evening the three Americans had two hours' talk at 
the station with the two American Quakers in the Paris Center before 
they took the sleeper for Berlin. 

Late the next afternoon they gathered their things together in 
preparation for leaving the train. Rufus Jones came to the other two in 
consternation. "I've lost my pajamas," he said. 

They helped him to hunt for them, but without success. He wanted 
to have a telegram sent at once to an earlier station to have a search 
made, but Robert Yarnall and George Walton opposed him. What 
would be the German reaction, what undesirable publicity might re- 
sult? The train went on into Poland, they pointed out, and if the 
garment was still missing a wire could be sent to Warsaw from Berlin. 
Rufus Jones yielded, but reluctantly, for the pajamas had been made 
for him by Elizabeth Jones and were too precious to lose. 

Arriving in Berlin they were met by a group of American, English 
and German Friends and taken to the Continental Hotel, where, after 


dinner, they had a three-hour conference with Katharine and Howard 
Elkinton, the A.F.S.C. workers then in Germany, Jim Lieftinck, a 
Dutch Friend, Hans Albrecht, the leading German Friend, and Paul 
Sturge of the Friends Service Council. 

The next morning, when Robert Yarnall and George Walton, who 
shared a room, came down to breakfast, they found Rufus Jones al- 
ready at the table, eating oatmeal. With his eyes on his plate, he said, 

"I found them." 

"Where did thee find them, Rufus?" 

"I had them on." 

When they had crossed the border from France into Germany 
early the previous morning and had been routed out for customs, he 
had dressed hastily, throwing his clothes on over his pajamas, and 
so — as he wrote home in chagrin — "did the fool thing." 

This story was told over and over on their return home, when 
they were called upon for talks on their experience to all kinds of 
Quaker groups and wanted both a light note and also something to 
take the place of all the things that they could not say for fear of 
repercussions in Germany. It entered into the permanent body of 
Quaker folklore. 

Friday the ninth was a busy day for the three. They visited the 
office which the Friends had opened for consultation with refugees 
when the number of desperate people seeking help and advice grew 
too large for the Center itself to handle. They sat in on a meeting of 
the secretariat and heard discussions of the problems of relief and 
emigration, the possibility of starting retreats for older people and 
children. They heard distressing tales of the tens of thousands of 
Jewish men in the three great concentration camps of Buchenwald, 
Dachau and Sachsenhausen. 

After lunch they visited a Jewish leader, Dr. Wilfred Israel, who 
lived in a big house off the Tiergarten. Sitting in his pleasant drawing 
room amid his books and objets-d'art, they heard from this slender v 
polished, youthful-looking old man the story they were to hear again 
and again: there was no pressing need for food-relief; emigration was 
vital, before all the Jews should be destroyed. Dr. Israel himself, sitting 
there in normal, civilized surroundings, expected to be shot within 
ten days. 

From Dr. Israel they went to the American Embassy nearby. Hugh 
Wilson, the ambassador, had been recalled to Washington in Novem- 
ber and Prentiss B. Gilbert was charge d'affaires. They talked with 


him about ways to approach the German government. Dr. Freitag, 
chief of American Affairs in the Foreign Office, was, they thought, 
the one to open doors for them and they wanted an introduction to 
him. Gilbert, however, was evasive. Raymond B. Geist, the consul- 
general, was ill at home that day and they were unable to see him. 
They returned to their hotel with a feeling of frustration. 

At a meeting in Rufus Jones's room that evening, they talked again 
with the Elkintons, Paul Sturge, Roger Carter, another English Friend, 
and Hans Albrecht. Speedy emigration on a large scale, they were 
now convinced, was the important thing. The magnitude of this 
problem must have been heavy on their hearts as this discouraging day 
came to an end. 

By the Quakers in Berlin they were called affectionately "the three 
wise men," but were not told why. In fact, they did not know until 
they were back again in Philadelphia, that Der Angriff, Goebbels's 
newspaper, had published an article about them with that title, in 
which it had said: 

"Surely these three Quaker figures are wise men who, no doubt, 
this time too hail from the East, or at least regard it as their spiritual 
home. So we will offer myrrh and incense for them, but of course 
after our own fashion. We hope they will make themselves known 
when they are here. Then we will know, you see, when to begin to 
quake — quake duly before the Quakers from the U.S.A. . . . They 
are to investigate us, for bad things are told in Pennsylvania about 
Germans who relieve poor Jewish millionaires of a little of their 
swindled money. If three quaking men were only content with mak- 
ing observations! But they are going the limit. They want to formulate 
plans for curing us and ameliorating the situation in Germany. Don't 
expect us to take them seriously. We can't help it but we must laugh, 
even if in this case it is ever so honorable a sect." 

Although that article was kept from them, they read in Der Angriff 
on their first Sunday morning a scathing attack on "Der Gesellshaft 
der Freunde," which depressed them greatly until it became clear that 
the Freunde in question were a society of the Masonic Order and had 
nothing at all to do with Quakers. 

The next morning they telephoned to the Foreign Office and asked 
for an appointment. They were told that they would receive an 
answer soon, but no answer came. Impatient, they got into a taxi, and, 
going directly to the Foreign Office, asked for Dr. Freitag. Told at 
first that he was in, they waited for a time, only to have the attendant 


return to say, "Sorry, Dr. Freitag is not here." They were further 
discouraged by the fact that they saw Dr. Dieckhoff (who had re- 
turned to Germany after the American ambassador was recalled to 
Washington) in the hall, but the German pretended not to see them 
and turned away to avoid speaking. 

After they had returned to the Friends Center they received a tele- 
phone call explaining that they had not been able to see Dr. Freitag 
because they had not been introduced by the American Embassy and 
suggesting that they see instead the head of the Bureau of Jewish 
Affairs in the Department of the Interior. 

By Monday morning Raymond Geist had recovered from his illness 
and met them with a keen, practical, competent interest that lifted 
their hopes. He believed their mission to be important, but, he said, 
they must have a plan. Hitler, he told them, was impossible to see, 
Goebbels extremely doubtful, but it was conceivable that they might 
be able to meet the head of the Gestapo. He — Geist — was ready to 
help them, but they must work up something more definite. 

Back they went, therefore, to wrestle with this problem of emigra- 
tion, which was so very much larger and thornier than the problem 
of food relief. Rufus Jones wrote to Clarence Pickett: 

"I therefore worked out an extensive plan for Quakers to take the 
lead as a neutral agency to secure from the chief authorities a funda- 
mental arrangement for the migration of all the Jews who are in a 
condition to go to other lands. There are 35,000 Jewish men in con- 
centration camps and very ominous signs of trouble in the near future. 
We proposed to find out what conditions of financial resources could 
be proposed for their exit. We read our entire document to Mr. Geist 
— Consul-General — and received his enthusiastic support for it and his 
promise to open doors for us to present it. Before bringing it to the 
German authorities I felt sure that I ought to inform Myron Taylor 
of the project." 

Myron C. Taylor had been chairman of the Conference on Inter- 
national Refugees that had met at Evian the previous summer and 
established a permanent Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees 
with headquarters in London. 

"I sent him a letter Sunday by Paul Sturge who sat with us as we 
developed the plan . . . He called up from London last night to say 
that Taylor was not happy over it. I at once called him up. He said 
he wanted us to go ahead but I felt that he thought we were running 
into his job. I thereupon decided to go across and talk it out with him 


. . . This plan of ours is the only approach to those higher up. Dykoff 
[Dieckhoff] is annoyed that we came over. Our main track is not 
through the foreign office but straight up with a proposal that will 
interest them." 

On the fourteenth, "Here I am in London," he wrote. 
He had no trouble in seeing both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Rublee, who 
was American chairman of the Committee, and he learned from them 
that Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, President of the Reichsbank, was then in 
London to discuss with the Committee a proposal for setting up a 
fund on which Jews emigrating from Germany might draw for their 
new start in life. Myron Taylor's report of the negotiations with Dr. 
Schacht gave Rufus Jones encouragement, and he was also cheered 
by the suggestion that the visit of the three Friends "may have hastened 
the action." Schacht himself, in his autobiography, Confessions of 
"The Old Wizard," makes no mention of the Quaker mission, but he 
does say, "Hitler himself seemed ill at ease in face of the world-wide 
repercussions aroused by the bestiality of November 9" and that to 
his surprise Hitler made no objection to his attempt to put his plan 
into practice. Whether or not the publicized arrival of the "three wise 
men" added a feather weight to the delicate balance, Rufus Jones left 
London on the sixteenth with the blessing of the Intergovernmental 
Committee and the promise of an appointment with Schacht the fol- 
lowing Monday in Berlin. 

"We shall likely see Goerring [sic] though that is not certain," he 
wrote. "The English Friends are most thankful for our coming and 
they have received me here with striking enthusiasm . . . The Friends 
House is full of Refugees and it is rather a frantic scene." 

It was pouring rain in London and he had no umbrella. Wet 
through, he made the winter crossing of the Channel to the Hook and 
then spent hours on an icy train to Berlin, which was in the grip of 
the worst December storm in eighty years. Sneezing and coughing, 
he went to bed with a hot water bottle as soon as he arrived, and re- 
mained in bed all of Sunday the eighteenth. 

While Rufus Jones was in London Robert Yarnall and George 
Walton had had a number of interviews and conferences which filled 
in the details of the dark picture whose outlines were already clear. 
Everyone with whom they talked reiterated that the pressing need was 

A tall, brisk man in the Foreign Office whom they managed to see 
and who had had eight years experience in the consular service in 


the United States, told them flatly: " 'We have no colonies, nowhere 
to send the Jews, while there are many outside places where they 
can be sent in addition to Palestine, which is too small . . . We know 
we cannot get rid of all of them, but putting pressure on is the only 
way we can get any action.' . . . He said that the Evian Conference 
did nothing of importance and the new permanent Intergovernmental 
Committee has presented no plan except 'Give Jews some money 
when they emigrate. But we cannot do this on account of the Devise. 
[Foreign Exchange]'." His own solution was a Jewish state of 15,000,- 
000, "perhaps in South Africa," and a large fund to be raised in the 
United States to help with emigration. 

Wherever they turned they found the implacable decision stated 
coldly and without shame. The Jews must go. Germany would have 
them no longer. It was up to the outside world to receive and help 
them. Germany would do nothing and certainly would not allow 
Jewish property to be taken out of the country. 

From Vienna, where he spent two days, Robert Yarnall brought 
back the same report: the carefully planned uprising on November 
tenth, the terror of the Jewish people, the anguished cries for help 
to emigrate. 

On Monday the nineteenth, which was bitterly cold and snowy, 
Rufus Jones, still suffering from a bad bronchial cold, got out of bed 
and the three, taking with them a written statement in German and 
English, went to the American Consulate to claim Raymond Geist's 
promised help in seeing the Gestapo. 

Mr. Geist — "if ever there was a good man he was one," said Rufus 
Jones — made a telephone call and then, abruptly deciding that direct 
action was necessary, jumped into a taxi and disappeared. For twenty- 
five minutes they waited, aware of what George Walton called "a 
quiet throng of intense humanity" around them that had come there 
seeking help. Suddenly the call came from Geist to join him at the 

When the taxi stopped in front of the huge grim building they were 
escorted by six black-shirted soldiers with helmets and guns to the 
great iron doors, where they were given tickets, and were told, Rufus 
Jones remembered, "that we did not need them to get in but we should 
need them to get out!" 

"We went through seven corridors, each one opening into an un- 
covered square, and then climbed five flights of stairs to a top room 
where Raymond Geist met us and said, 'I have done it. Two chief 


officers of the Gestapo have been delegated to hear your plans and to 
get a decision on your project.' " 

Reinhard Heydrich was Himmler's immediate subordinate and the 
real head of the Secret State Police, known and feared as "the Hang- 
man." He had been in charge of the concentration camp at Dachau 
from 1934 and had taken part in the "Blood Purge" of the same year. 
In 1942 he would be assassinated in Czechoslovakia and the Lidice 
massacre would follow on the charge that the town had harbored 
his murderers. 

The room into which the three Friends were escorted this Monday 
morning was a large corner room furnished with a "round table, glass 
top, modern design, big chairs." Heydrich himself was not there, but 
they could hear his voice through the folding doors between this 
room and the adjoining one. They interviewed instead his two asso- 
ciates, Standatenfiihrer Dr. Erlinger and Regierungerat Dr. Lischka. 
George Walton described the "dramatis personae" of the scene: 

"Rufus, clear, positive, brief, daring 

Geist, crusty, clever, direct, a magic open sesame 

Lischka, tall, quick, earnest, responsive, partly bald, punctilious." 

Rufus Jones, nine years later, called Erlinger and Lischka "hard- 
faced, iron-natured men." He gave them the statement prepared for 
the purpose and asked them to read it. 

"We have come to Germany at this present time," they read in 
the German translation, "to see whether there might be any service 
which American Quakers could render, and to use every opportunity 
open to us to understand the present situation. Those whom we are to 
meet and with whom we are to consult should clearly understand that 
we have had close and friendly relations with the German people 
throughout the entire post-war period. We represent no governments, 
or international organizations, no parties, no sects, and we have no 
interest in propaganda in any form. We have always been concerned 
over the conditions of the Peace Treaty and in spirit opposed to these 

"We came to Germany in the time of the blockade; organized and 
directed the feeding of German children, reaching at the peak no less 
than a million two hundred thousand children per day. We were 
first to arrive in Vienna after the war where we brought in coal for 
the fires in the hospitals. After the different revolutions in Austria, we 
gave relief to the families of those who suffered most in these colli- 
sions, always having permission from the existing government to do 


so. And at the time of the 'Anschluss' we were distributing food to a 
number of Nazi families. 

"In all this work we have kept entirely free of party lines or party 
spirit. We have not used any propaganda or aimed to make converts 
to our own views. We have simply, quietly, and in a friendly spirit 
endeavored to make life possible for those who were suffering. We 
do not ask who is to blame for the trouble which may exist or what 
has produced the sad situation. Our task is to support and save life 
and to suffer with those who are suffering. 

"We have come now in the same spirit as in the past and we believe 
that all Germans who remember the past and who are familiar with 
our ways and methods and spirit will know that we do not come to 
judge or criticize or to push ourselves in, but to inquire in the most 
friendly manner whether there is anything we can do to promote life 
and human welfare and to relieve suffering." 

After the reading of this paper, Robert Yarnall wrote in his diary, 
"We discuss freely our progress to date in relief matters and the 
question of quicker emigration, possibility of transient camps, etc. 
They ask us for a definite plan, but we explained why we cannot 
give it. We finally asked if we might proceed along the lines suggested 
of relief through Jewish organizations and working through Inter- 
government Committee London and America on plans for faster 

The two Nazis then went out to consult Heydrich, and the Friends 
were left in the room to wait. "During this awesome period," wrote 
Rufus Jones, "we bowed our heads and entered upon a time of deep 
quiet meditation and prayer — the only Quaker meeting ever held in 
the Gestapo! It proved to have been rightly ordered. The two men 
returned at the announced time and the leader said, 'Everything you 
have asked for is granted.' I said, 'That is splendid. We should like to 
have the report in writing.' 'No,' the leader said, 'the Gestapo does not 
give its decisions in writing.' 'What will be the evidence then?' 'Every 
word,' he said, 'that has been spoken in this room has been recorded 
by a mechanism and this decision will be in the record.' We were 
glad then that we had kept the period of hush and quiet and had 
uttered no words for the record! The leader then said, 'I shall tele- 
graph tonight to every police station in Germany that the Quakers are 
given full permission to investigate the sufferings of Jews and to bring 
such relief as they see necessary.' " 

Robert Yarnall recorded that the complete authority to proceed, 


which Lischka brought from Heydrich, included permission for 
Quaker representatives to move freely in Germany and Austria in 
making and carrying out plans for non-Aryan relief if needed and for 

Two more days remained to them in Berlin. On the afternoon of 
the twentieth they had their meeting with Hjalmar Horace Greeley 
Schacht, president of the Reichsbank in the Weimar Republic and 
again under Hitler, who had dared to oppose Hitler to his face, and 
who would, in 1943 take part in the unsuccessful plot against him. He 
explained to them the plan for financial relief of emigrating Jews 
which he had presented to the Intergovernmental Committee, and 
which he has described in his autobiography in the following terms: 

"The whole of the property of Jews in Germany shall be brought 
into a trust company who will administer it according to law. This 
trust company shall be governed by an international committee, on 
which the Jews are also represented. On the basis of this property 
held in trust by way of security the committee will issue a loan in the 
international market amounting to, say, one to one and a half billion 
Reichsmarks. This loan carries an interest of about five per cent and is 
repayable by annual installments over a period of twenty to twenty- 
five years. The German government guarantees the transfer of interests 
and repayment installments in dollars so that the loan can be issued 
as a dollar loan. Jews all over the world will be urged to subscribe . . . 
Out of the dollar proceeds of this loan every Jew wishing to emigrate 
will receive a certain sum which will facilitate his reception in another 
country and serve as a foundation on which to build a new life." 

If 50,000 Jews a year could be taken by other countries, he said, it 
would settle the problem; those who then remained in Germany might 
have some sort of decent life. "Then he said, 'Be quick, for nobody 
knows what happens in this country tomorrow.' " 

Advising the Friends to cooperate with the Intergovernmental Com- 
mittee and to use their own resources for help with feeding and in 
training camps, he said, "Emigration is too big for charity." 

He had, he told them, been given authority to present his plan in 
London, now he would seek authority to go ahead with it. But exactly 
one month later Hitler dismissed him from the Reichsbank, and noth- 
ing more was heard of his plan. 

On December twenty-second the three Friends left Berlin and two 
days later sailed on the Franconia, with a shipload of refugees. 

They were back in Philadelphia after Christmas, within a month of 


their departure. There arose a clamor about them, to know what they 
had seen, what they thought of the situation, what they had accom- 

In immediate, practical terms, they had got permission for two 
Quaker commissioners to go to Germany to oversee the disbursement 
of Quaker relief funds, to help especially the non-synagogue Jews who 
did not come within the scope of other organizations, to assist with the 
emigration of individuals. "Workers in our Berlin Center," writes 
Clarence Pickett, "found they had a new freedom in making emigra- 
tion arrangements for Jewish families and in bringing relief. This short 
reprieve meant the difference between life and death to some families, 
at least." 

In the light of subsequent history, it seems unlikely that the Nazi 
hearts were touched by the unexpected encounter with a different 
way of life, though Rufus Jones to the end of his days believed that 
there had been a softening and a moment of vision. What is perhaps 
of lasting significance is the sheer fact that three Friends — modern, 
practical men — faced enormous forces of evil and directly and quietly 
offered an alternative, the way of love. 


The Vital Cell 

1 he Philadelphia Award, conceived and endowed by Edward W. 
Bok in 1 92 1, is given each year to a Philadelphian "for service best 
calculated to advance the best interests of the community." The pres- 
entation takes place before a large audience in the Academy of Music, 
and throughout the program of speeches and music suspense is main- 
tained until the climax, when the secret is revealed. 

On February 20, 1939, Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, rector of the 
Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, spun out the mystification. 
The award was going, he said, "to a great business man, a mighty 
captain of industry, the leader of a business utterly unique, and yet it 
should have had its origin in the City of Brotherly Love . . . There 
are two kinds of businesses at least. There is a little business that uses 
men to make money . . . The really big business represented by the 
winner of this Award uses money to make men and when they are 
broken to mend them." 

When the scrolls and the old medallions and the $10,000 were 
presented to Rufus M. Jones and Clarence E. Pickett, Chairman and 
Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, the 
audience "arose in one vast wave to applaud and cheer." Seldom had 
the award aroused such whole-hearted enthusiasm and approval. 

During the war that moved inexorably upon the world in 1939 
Rufus Jones's part in the Service Committee was different from his 



role in the first World War. The instrument of healing which he had 
done so much to create was tested and ready, and though the demands 
made upon it and the conditions of fulfilling them differed from those 
of its early days, the organization was flexible and sturdy enough to 
cope with them. Civilian Public Service for conscientious objectors, 
assistance to college age students in the Japanese relocation camps, ref- 
ugee problems, distribution of food to children in unoccupied France, 
cooperation with English Friends in the work of the Friends Ambu- 
lance Unit in China, aid to famine-stricken India with funds supplied 
by the agency called American Relief for India: these were the chief 
activities of the Committee during the war years. Rufus Jones and 
Clarence Pickett together made an unceasing attempt to send food to 
the children in occupied France, in Belgium and Holland, but the 
stand of the allied governments was that aid sent to these countries 
would be diverted to the use of the Germans and so would undermine 
the efficiency of the war effort. As there was not sufficient public 
support for the humanitarian point of view, they were up against a 
stone wall. In 1944 Rufus Jones resigned the chairmanship of the 
A.F.S.C. to become again Honorary Chairman, while Henry J. Cad- 
bury again succeeded him in active leadership. 

In the main, in the second World War, Rufus Jones's part was 
that of an elder statesman. His energy, amazing for a man of his 
years, was given to the task of encouragement and inspiration, to 
holding before people's eyes constantly the necessity to look beyond 
the present dark time of war to the peace which must be carefully 
prepared for, to remember the unsuspected forces of good in areas 
of hate, to keep alive "vital cells" of love and understanding and 
faith, to get ready for the part that a revitalized Quakerism might 
play in the exhaustion and devastation of war's aftermath. The titles 
of some of his seventy-odd articles published in more than twenty-five 
different journals during these years suggest the lines of his thought: 
"Back to the Springs and Sources of Life"; "What can Americans do 
for Humanity Today?"; "Dedicated to a Better Way"; "Seeing in 
the Dark"; "A Call to Persons of Good Will"; "Begin with the 
Church"; "Are We Ready?"; "Thou Shalt not Hate." Among the 
seven books which he wrote at this time were, Spirit in Man, The 
Vital Cell, which was the published form of his William Penn 
address to the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings in 1941, New Eyes 
for Invisibles, The Radiant Life. 

More than ever, if possible, he was in demand for lectures, for 


sermons, for addresses. He gave five lectures in "Ministers' Week" 
at Southern Methodist University in Dallas; he gave the West Lectures 
at Stanford University in Palo Alto, which became the basis for his 
book Spirit in Man: in 1942 he went from a program of twenty 
meetings in a single week at Seattle to a series of addresses in the 
south, at Raleigh, Orlando, and St. Petersburg. He spoke in succes- 
sive years at the famous Chicago "Sunday Evening Club." He gave 
the Ingersoll Lecture on the Immortality of Man at Harvard. With 
Herbert Hoover he spoke at a meeting at Carnegie Hall in New York 
to plead for the feeding of the children of Europe. A year later 
he had the sad duty of speaking at the funeral of Mrs. Hoover at 
St. Bartholomew's Church, New York. He preached the sermon 
at the united Thanksgiving service of the churches of Bryn Mawr. 
In addition he spoke to Quaker groups too numerous to mention. 

Much of what he wrote and said was the interpretation of the 
Quaker position in regard to war and peace. "Peace," he stated 
vigorously in A Call to Persons of Good Will, "is not a static 
condition, to be attained after the defeat of those who disturb it. 
On the contrary, peace is a dynamic method, by which to remove 
injustices, to accomplish necessary readjustments, and to remedy 
instead of aggravating the evils that have been inflicted on the world 
by military aggression." "Whether in times of war or times of 
peace," he wrote in a pamphlet on The Quaker Peace Position, 
"the Quaker is under peculiar obligation to assist and to forward 
movements and forces which make for peace in the world and 
which bind men together in ties of unity and fellowship. In time of 
war, every avenue of loving service, of heroic devotion, of self- 
forgetful ministry should be entered, that the Quaker may vie with 
the soldier in his blood-red loyalty and devotion to his cause." 

Although he believed that war is "absolutely and eternally morally 
wrong" and that "with the Quaker view of life one cannot engage 
in killing men, whatever may be involved in the refusal," he remained 
both publicly and privately sympathetic to those whose insights 
brought them to other conclusions. "He [the Quaker] must be 
gentle and tenderly respectful toward all Christians who feel the 
stern necessity of continuing the world-old way of settling differences 
and of working out national issues," he wrote in the pamphlet men- 
tioned above. "It is never safe to assume the role of special favorite 
or sole guardian of truth, or remnant of the elect." To a correspondent 
he wrote in 1943, "I do not agree with your position about war, 


but I am only too conscious that only a tiny fraction of Christians 
in the world accept the position which I hold and I feel humble 
about holding it in the face of the fact that the vast majority of 
Christians walk a different path from mine. But absolute obedience 
to the clearest light one has or can get seems to me to be the priceless 
jewel that must never be bartered away." 

He was especially pleased when he received the Theodore Roosevelt 
Distinguished Service Medal in October, 1942, because it was given 
to a pacifist in time of war. Established twenty years earlier by the 
Roosevelt Memorial Association, it was given annually to recognize 
achievements in fields of endeavor in which the former president had 
been interested. At the same time that Rufus Jones received his 
award in the field of international affairs, Henry L. Stimson, the 
Secretary of War, and Booth Tarkington, the novelist, were also 
given medals. At the award dinner, it was said of Rufus Jones: 

"He is regarded as the leading spokesman of the Quaker way 
of life throughout the world, and has been the decisive influence 
in making a sect of only 120,000 members a powerful social and 
religious instrument. At seventy-nine he is leading the American 
Friends Service Committee in new ventures in practical altruism 
on a world scale." 

Some of his writing during these years was concerned — and 
naturally so, as he approached and overtook his eightieth birthday — 
with reminiscences. In "Some Pisgah Reflections," published in the 
Friends lntellige?jcer in 1943, he looked back with humor and frank 
appraisal on his early days of teaching and editorship when "there 
was no such word as 'unity' in the American Quaker Dictionary." 
One of the most delightful of all his books A Small Town Boy, 
returned to the South China of his childhood and completed the 
picture begun in his earlier book, Finding The Trail of Life. 
Where one depicted the inward journey, the other described the 
outward setting: the grocery store, the blacksmith shop, the games 
on summer evenings, the gang of boys, the lake, all the institutions 
of self-contained community and their inimitable flavor, before the in- 
vention of the internal combustion engine swept that old world away. 
Full of salty stories, nostalgic detail, and mellow wisdom, written 
in his clear, unhurried, spacious style, shot with shafts of illumination 
and insight, the book is one of the classics of American boyhood and 
village life. 

In the war years when so many young people were dying, Rufus 


Jones wrote and spoke also about immortality. The West Lectures 
at Stanford, which formed the basis for his book, Spirit in Man, 
and the Ingersoll Lecture at Harvard, "The Spell of Immortality," 
which became Chapter Ten in The Radiant Life, were both con- 
cerned with this subject. Recognizing the prevailing drift of contem- 
porary thought away from the old certainties about eternal life that 
supported people in times of trouble and gave sanction to "noble 
living," he had no easy arguments for immortality. That the uni- 
verse is intelligible, that it is built on moral lines, that it "can be 
counted on to meet and answer the hopes it has raised in the minds 
which it itself has produced" was a certainty for him. The moral 
sense in man that can look beyond what is to what ought to be, 
the reality of God as spirit, were to Rufus Jones sufficient basis for a 
conviction that our life does not end with this world, that, as he was 
fond of quoting, "transplanted human worth will bloom to profit 
otherwhere." He conceded the inadequacy of the mind adapted to 
space-time living to conceive the nature of a life in a new form and 
medium and he accepted the mystery. But it was, he maintained, a 
mystery no greater than that "the hereditary traits of the generations 
behind him and his own marvellously adapted form came with the 
newborn child into the here over the infinitesimal bridge of a cell of 
protoplasm." Belief in immortality he called "a rational faith in the 
conservation of values," and he saw the future life as a stage not for 
rewards and punishments but for the completion of the drama only 
begun, the completion of our fragmentary being. 

In April, 1943, when he was at Harvard delivering the Ingersoll 
Lecture he did not know that in Haverford Elizabeth Jones, then 
seventy-two, was suffering a coronary thrombosis. He was told as 
soon as the lecture was over, and he hurried home with anxiety 
gripping his heart. Of this illness their daughter writes: "She was 
an excellent patient and settled quietly into the process of recovery. 
She learned to find pleasure in small recreations which did not 
tax her strength, but her husband had little use for the crossword 
puzzles and detective stories with which she passed long hours. He 
felt sad that his wife who had worked with him in the Bodleian 
Library and the British Museum should allow her excellent mind 
to drop to so low an order of mental stimulants! He took many a 
trip, however, to the Haverford Library just for the sake of hunting 
up a crossword and he managed to wrest a good deal of enjoyment 
from this form of research, though he would never admit it." 

By early July she had recovered enough to be moved to their 


beloved Pendle Hill in South China, from where Rufus Jones wrote 
to Mary, who was working in the Philadelphia offices of the 
American Friends Service Committee, "The loons hailed us with 
a happy yodel almost as soon as we arrived and the mosquitoes 
purred a little later . . . Well, we are as happy as Darby and Joan 
and it will put Mother on her feet." 

A little later in the month, Elizabeth Jones, with the help of the 
faithful Ada, was making green tomato pickles. The usual South 
China activities went on in spite of the war. Cousin Genie, his faithful 
and merry correspondent for sixty years, had died two years before, 
but her daughters Madeleine and Virginia still lived at Pine Rock, 
and every day Rufus Jones walked along the little path between 
the pines to chat with them. His haying days, which had continued 
long after he wrote to Sallie, "I have taken my degree — B. H. — that 
is, Bachelor of Hay-cutting," had come to an end in 1941, when 
he wrote, "I went out yesterday and pitched on a load of hay for 
Charlie Stanley, who is cutting our field. It pretty nearly laid me 
low. I know now that these persons who tell me that I am as young 
as ever are telling big lies! Once I could pitch a load of hay and not 
know I had done anything but now\ Well, it is all right — I shan't 
pitch any more." Swimming was left to him, and walking, and enjoy- 
ing lobster, the "divine manna of the Maine coast." Every morning 
he spent in his log cabin, writing. 

Two new college presidents within Rufus Jones's orbit took 
office during this period. In 1940 William Wistar Comfort, Haver- 
ford's beloved president, retired and was succeeded by Felix Morley, 
who was the son of a former Haverford professor and one of Rufus 
Jones's old students, a veteran of American Friends Service Com- 
mittee work in France. At Bryn Mawr two years later Marion 
Edwards Park retired after twenty years of distinguished service and 
close association with Rufus Jones and Katherine E. McBride took her 
place. Rufus Jones, no longer president of the Board, was still an 
outstanding member of it, and he took a great interest in the promising 
young president. 

Katherine McBride, sixteen years later, a brilliant speaker, delights 
to remember the kindly letter that he sent her after one of her 
early appearances at a college function: 

Jan. 29 
My dear Miss McBride: 

Your words about your public speaking reminded me of what Miss Thomas 
(M. Carey) did once for me. She called and asked me to take a ride with her. 


On the way she said "I want to talk to thee (she always said "thee" to me) about 
thy speaking and how to improve it. It marked an epoch in my public speaking 
and I have never forgotten that ride! I know I cannot do as much for you, 
but there are one or two things I should like to say. You do not have major faults 
to correct. You do not halt and "err, err" as so many speakers do, and you have 
a good, pleasing voice, which is a great asset. I have, however, been impressed 
with the feeling that you stay too much on one level. It is a good level but you 
need occasional moments when you rise above it and lift your audience to a new 
level. That can be done by a brilliant touch of humor, or a burst of enthusiasm, 
or an effective concrete illustration of the point you are making vividly told, 
or by a heightening of your style. But however you do it, you must now and 
then shift gears and go up "on high" and take your audience to a new level. 
You feel them come up and that unconsciously puts new power into your speak- 
ing. But nothing works like constant practice, and ease and grace and power 
come as you go on. You have already set a good pace. It will come nach und 

Sincerely your ancient friend, 

Rufus M. Jones 

Travelling, writing, speaking, he weathered the war years. Tucked 
away in the back of a file drawer in the Haverford Library is a 
collection of those little blue-covered pocket diaries which the 
Provident Trust Company distributed each year to its depositors. 
Whenever a Philadelphian was asked about an engagement, out came 
his little blue notebook and the date was written down. Rufus Jones 
used his both for recording his engagements and also, as he travelled 
about, for jotting down ideas, quotations, stories that he heard, 
thoughts that came to him. 

Of the stories usually just a sentence is there, enough to remind 
him of the rest. "I don't believe in the devil either," comes on one 
page, "it is like Santa Claus. It is your father." The germs of several 
stories in Small Town Boy, appear here: "Are you sure you got a 
pig?"; "I'll never forget"; "You didn't raise your grandfather from 
a pup." 

There are many quotations, from Alice in Wonderland, from 
Punch, from Nansen, Fichte, Chesterton, the Bible, George Mac- 
donald, and others. There are comments and questions that are 
obviously his own. "What is the ultimate secret in the life of a saint?" 
he wrote across two pages. In 1941 he noted the existence of people 
who, he wrote, "go hysterical over the critical outcome of a situation 
but are wholly inactive in the face of a situation bound to produce 
a crisis." In the same year he wrote, "A life time is not too long for 
two lovers to discover what love means." And, "Bernard Shaw called 
the U.S. a nation of villagers. Good!" Once in 1940 this man whom 
Haverford in its citation for an honorary doctorate had called "an 


impenitent optimist" and who was to all who knew him the embodi- 
ment of serenity and hope, revealed his occasional despairs when he 
wrote, "There is something abysmally evil about this world." 

Written jerkily, as if on a moving train, is a series in 1944: 
"Washington is the only instance of an insane asylum run by the 
inmates . . . The divine unexpectedness of life . . . He couldn't 
possibly have said less, unless he had said more . . . Christ is already 
here and doth reign in the hearts of his people. G.F." 

"A committee," he jotted down, "is a gathering of important 
people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that 
nothing can be done." 

In 1938, the year of the visit to Germany, a trip to the middle 
west, scheduled for December 5th to 16th, is cancelled, and on those 
pages are written a number of names and addresses in Germany. 
"Born anew to a life of hope, I. Pet. I, 3," he wrote on one page, 
and on another, "We need the note of adventure, of the heroic 
and costly, not the twittering of birds over a volcano." 

When the war came to an end in 1945, Rufus Jones was in his 
eighty-third year. His pocket diary for a single week in November 

Mon. Zen Buddhism 

Tue. Mary Vaux evening 

Wed. Lunch with Henry [i.e. Henry J. Cadbury] and trainees 
[workers in training for A.F.S.C. posts abroad] 

Thurs. Just and Durable Peace 

Fri. Ditto. Pendle Hill 


Sun. Christ Church. Sam Shoemaker. 

"The Time has come," he had written on New Year's Day of that 
year, "to go forward." 

*^^ ^y^ - -^ ^ ^ ~^^ y * ~ *^<^ ~^^y^~ "^^^^*- -^^^^- *^^^^ 


77?£ Finishing of the Work 

When the Five Years Meeting gathered at Richmond in 1945, 
the second World War was over. Rufus Jones was there as Chairman 
of the Business Committee, as he had been since 191 2, and he 
delivered the Isaac T. and Lida K. Johnson Memorial Lecture, an 
endowed address like the Swarthmore Lecture of London or the 
William Penn Lecture of Philadelphia, which provided the opening 
and the focus of the week's sessions. 

He chose as subject not something about the war or the peace 
or even Friends' responsibility to help war sufferers, but a theme 
that came out of the Quaker past and pointed toward the future. 
"Original Quakerism," ran the title, "a Movement Not a Sect." 
George Fox, he made plain, had not intended to create a new denomi- 
nation but to set a fresh current flowing through all the Christian 
Churches. Rufus Jones saw modern Quakerism, roused by inward 
experience of the love of God to outward expression of the love of 
man through service, in a position to attempt again what George Fox 
had envisioned. He called on Friends to put aside the fences they had 
built around themselves and between the various kinds of Friends and 
to become once more an overflowing stream. "Whether a movement 
is to have its day and be 'done away' depends on the expansive 
scope and interior depth of its seed principle, its capacity to go on 
vitalizing lives. . . . We can, if we will, set our sails to the divine breezes 



and move away from the shallow waters out into the deeps to which 
God calls us." 

As the second World War was vaster in destruction than the 
first, so the work of relief and rehabilitation was in every way 
larger and heavier, made more complicated by the masses of home- 
less and fleeing people whom war had driven out upon the roads 
of the world. Aid on so huge a scale could be given only by 
governments. UNRRA was the agent of the newly formed United 
Nations; occupying armies fed the conquered people whom they 
had beaten down to unconditional surrender. There was, however, 
still much to be done by the so-called non-governmental agencies, 
the private and independent charities, which gave aid on a personal 
basis. There was an especial place for the American Friends Service 
Committee because it had always opposed war, because its aid was 
given wholly on the basis of need, regardless of race, politics, or 
creed, and because its workers, serving on a volunteer basis, developed 
small, creative, personal projects which could be adopted and used 
on an expanded scale by others. The A.F.S.C. budget rose during 
the early post-war years to more than $7,000,000 and once again 
Rufus Jones and Herbert Hoover, Honorary Chairman of the Sub- 
Committee on Germany, were associated in raising money to feed 
German children. 

At eighty-three Rufus Jones still seemed indefatigable, speaking 
far and wide, writing, enjoying his family and friends. Miriam Jones, 
the daughter of his younger brother Herbert, was now the principal 
of the Haverford Friends School — the latest in the long line of 
Joneses to leave South China and take up responsible positions in 
the educational world. She made her home with Rufus and Elizabeth 
Jones and was a second daughter to them. 

As an example of the affairs in which he had a finger, I may 
give a personal item. Less than a year after the end of the war an 
American Education Mission visiting Japan to advise the Occupation 
about the democratization of education there, was asked by the 
Emperor to find an American woman to tutor his son, the Crown 
Prince. The American Friends Service Committee recommended 
me for the position. When I was interviewed by Dr. George Stoddard, 
the head of the Mission, he asked me if I could give Rufus Jones as 
a reference. I said that I thought I could. As soon as I got home I 
wrote and told him what I had done, and by return mail I received 
the following letter: 


Haverford College, Haverford, Pa., 6-10-1946 
My dear Elizabeth 

This news in thy letter of June 7th is perfectly wonderful. I cannot think of 
anything more exciting and I very greatly hope the selection will come to thee. 
Of course I will write vigorously to Dr. Stoddard, in fact I am writing just 
such a letter to him today. 

With all best wishes for this venture 

Sincerely thy friend, 

Rufus M. Jones 

A little over two months later, when the choice was made and 
the final word had come from Japan, I wrote again to Rufus Jones, 
and received his answer from South China: 

August 27, '46 
My dear Elizabeth: 

My first response as I read thy letter this morning, with its great news, was 
Selah, which is a profound pause of awe and wonder over some great new in- 
sight or discovery, and if you translate it, it means, "Just think of that" ! ! with 
two exclamation points. I need hardly say how greatly pleased I am ... It is 
just right; thee is the one to do this important thing. Thee has been getting 
ready for it and the task has come to meet thee. Yes, we shall give our prayers 
for strength and guidance and we shall go on believing in thee. We expect to 
be back in Haverford next Second day. 

Affectionately thy friend 

Rufus M. Jones 

It was characteristic of Rufus Jones that he should be so much 
interested in this venture and should respond so promptly. When in 
the autumn of 1947 I returned to the United States on a two-months' 
leave, he wrote to me: 

Oct. 9 
My dear Elizabeth, 

Miriam has shown me thy letter. I do hope "way will open" for thee to see us. 
I could hardly bear not to see thee. I shall be away over this week-end, Saturday 
to Monday afternoon and next Thursday afternoon and evening. 

Affectionately thine, 

Rufus M. Jones 

I went to see him. We sat in rocking chairs on the porch where 
for so many years he had sat to watch cricket practice, and looking 
out over the campus splashed with October's sun and shadows we 
talked of Japan and of the world. 

"Yesterday," he said, "I was watching little Willie White playing. 
He had a wooden duck on wheels which quacked as he pulled 
it along the driveway. Suddenly something went wrong with the 
duck; the wheels stopped turning and it stopped quacking. Willie 
found a soft place on the grass and he lay down on his back and 


howled. I thought how like the world it was. Something has gone 
wrong with our duck; it doesn't work any more; and we lie down 
on the grass and howl." 

Willie White was the small son of Gilbert and Anne White, 
who now occupied the President's house next door to Rufus Jones. 
In 1946 Felix Morley had resigned, and the presidency of Haverford 
had come to Gilbert White, a vivid and able young man, an expert 
in Physical Geography and Water Conservation, who had worked 
for the A.F.S.C. in France and in Philadelphia. Through their associa- 
tion in the work and councils first of the Committee and then of 
Haverford College, Rufus Jones and Gilbert White had become 
devoted friends. 

In November 1947 the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings took 
an important step toward healing the breach of a hundred and 
twenty years duration: they established a "General Meeting" to be 
held in the autumn of each year. Already the two bodies had united 
their committees on Peace, the Social Order, and Race Relations, but 
they were not yet ready for a common book of discipline and fused 
finances; the General Meeting, which would deal with reports on 
common interests and concerns, was seen as a move toward eventual 
"organic union," which, actually, did come within the next decade. 
Rufus Jones was asked by the Young Friends Movement to give the 
chief address. 

He called his speech "The Great Succession of Torch Bearers." 
From the Friends of God of the fourteenth century, through the 
Spiritual Reformers of the sixteenth, he traced a line of "young 
torchbearers" who led to George Fox and his young Publishers of 
Truth, and after them to other young Friends of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries: young Samuel Bownas, Samuel Fothergill, "a 
wild, unpromising youth" who developed into the man capable of 
guiding the Society of Friends through the crisis of the Revolution, 
Job Scott and others, down to John Wilhelm Rowntree and the 
remarkable group of young English Friends who put new life and 
power into the interpretation of Quakerism. 

A similar theme, though expressed through different characters, 
ran through his book published that year: The Luminous Trail, 
which dealt with a succession of saints, canonized and uncanonized, 
into whose lives the spirit of Christ broke like — in one of Rufus 
Jones's favorite figures — "a vernal equinox." "What is the ultimate 
secret in the life of a saint?" he had written in his blue pocket diary; 


now he answered that question in his first chapter. "I think the 
greatest miracle we know in our world," he said, "is the way a person 
who has failed, who has been like the rest of us, suddenly rises 
beyond himself, gets attached to the eternal reservoir of God's 
Grace and Truth and Power, and lets the streams of life, by a higher 
kind of gravitation, pour through him. When that miracle occurs 
we have a saint, and he is forthwith a transmitter.'" His trail led 
from St. Paul, through those old and dear spiritual heroes, Clement 
of Alexandria, Francis of Assisi, Erasmus, Hans Denck, as well as 
others about whom he had written less frequently. It came to an 
end in his own little son Lowell, in a touching chapter about that 
lost, golden boy, and the extent to which he felt that his own life 
had been "led and guided on its way" by his son. If there was 
something naive about the inclusion of this charming child, canonized 
by forty-three years of love and grief, among the giants of spiritual 
history, there was also something of the essence of Rufus Jones 
himself, for whom the word naive is as inappropriate as the word 
sophisticated would be; his love, humility, and unquenchable fresh- 
ness of feeling are all in evidence here. 

Late in the autumn of that same year the A.F.S.C. received 
proof that its service of love was recognized as basically a service 
for peace. With the Friends Service Council, with which it had 
worked from the beginning, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 
Henry J. Cadbury, as chairman of the Committee, went to Oslo to 
receive it on December tenth. 

Gunnar John, chairman of the Nobel Committee, in his speech 
of award, made it clear that the prize was directed actually to 
all Quakers, and for a greater contribution to peace than the 
mere refusal to take part in war. "It is the silent help from the 
nameless to the nameless," he said, "which is their contribution to the 
promotion of brotherhood among nations . . . May we believe that 
there is hope of laying a foundation of peace among nations, of build- 
ing up peace in man himself, so that it becomes impossible to settle 
disputes by use of force?" 

On the same evening in New York, there was a great dinner in 
the ballroom of the Astor to celebrate the award. Rufus Jones sat 
as honored guest on the dais among such leaders as Emily Greene 
Balch, who had won the Nobel award the year before, other Nobel 
winners in chemistry, physics and medicine, several ambassadors, 
Trygve Lie, Secretary General of the U.N., Paul Muni, the actor, 


and Henry Nobel McCracken, the former president of Vassar 

"It was an ordeal," Rufus Jones wrote to his daughter, who was 
in England. "There were sixteen speakers, besides a 'play' that took 
about 20 minutes! The dinner itself (ten dollars a plate) lasted till 
nine o'clock. I came on at five minutes of ten and spoke just five 
minutes. I am afraid I did not make much impression on the tired 
and blase audience, but speaking went on till midnight. I slipped out 
at 10:45 an d went to bed in my room in the hotel." 

He was, nevertheless, "perfectly thrilled over the Nobel award 
and delighted that it is shared with the F.S.C." But he was, not 
surprisingly, beginning to be tired. Only a few days before the 
Nobel dinner, he had had a strenuous trip to New England. "I have 
just been to Phillips Exeter Academy. It snowed all Sat. evening 
but we held a beautiful Friends meeting, about 30 came. I had a 
beautiful service Sunday morning with the boys, 'best ever.' Then I 
went to Swampscott to the Installation of Howard Andrews. An 
enormous audience came and I preached my head off. At the 
reception 500 passed in line and vapored. I nearly fell over with 
fatigue and ran over my bed-time — horrors!" 

He had written to his daughter the previous July, "I have lost 
my enthusiasm for my own birthdays but I still feel a thrill over 
thine." In spite of reduced enthusiasm, however, and in spite of a pain 
in his chest that disturbed his sleep the night before, he rose to meet 
the celebration of his eighty-fifth birthday with appreciation. "It 
has been a memorable date," he wrote to Mary Hoxie Jones, "I had 
40 cards, 12 telegrams and cables, hosts of letters and many plants 
and flowers . . . We went to the Swarthmore Banquet which got 
us home at midnight. It knocked me out temporarily — never again. 
I am all right now. I really am old in spite of the comments about 
looking young. You can't fool the calendar!" He had been reading 
The James Family by F. O. Matthiessen with great enjoyment and 
found it "tops." "The poor old world," he ended, "is staggering on 
and the franc is debased. My dear love goes to thee. Ancient Father." 

Three days later he wrote again, "I have just this minute heard 
the awful news of the shooting of Gandhi. It must have been a crazy 
person for it was a Hindoo not a Moslem. But it is an awful tragedy, 
but now he enters an immortal career." 

Just before his birthday he finished another book, "my very last," 
he wrote. "It has my Atlantic Monthly Article for a chapter and it 


is an interpretation of religion for modern scientific persons. It will 
produce," — and in spite of the unfoolable calendar one hears a boyish 
note of satisfaction — "a stir in the dovecotes of the fundamentalists." 

The Atlantic Monthly article which had appeared in November 
1947 was entitled "What the Modern Man Can Believe," and the book 
was written in response to the urging of a New England Friend 
that he write one more book, "a book that will help the college- 
trained persons who have the scientific outlook to find their way 
back to a vital religion." It was a short book, only 143 pages, but it 
comprised a reaffirmation of the cherished and lived ideas of his life: 
that religion, unless it issues in life, is negligible; that ideas of religion, 
must not contradict the truth we learn in other fields; that science 
cannot deal with values; that the testimony of the mystics is the 
"laboratory evidence" of religion, that "minor mystics" are to be 
found everywhere, that man, unique in that he thinks and knows 
himself as thinking, is still in the process of development, that the 
Bible, in accordance with modern knowledge of it, is still "the 
world's greatest literature of revelation," that "every local church in 
Christendom ought to be a creative center of transforming life 
and love in its community." For the concluding chapter on prayer, 
he went back to one of the earliest and best of his books, The 
Double Search, and took passages that still expressed, though more 
than forty years of living had intervened, his experience in the field 
of prayer. 

In February, in spite of what his niece, Miriam Jones, who was 
living with Rufus and Elizabeth Jones, called "the pain" in her 
reports to his daughter abroad, he went to Germantown Meeting 
"for another Sunday School and Meeting binge." Three days later, 
he wrote himself, "Wed. in the 8 inch snow storm I went to the 
Mental Health Luncheon and spoke and then went to the Ex. Board 
Meeting ... I am glad to write Feb. 6 for it means we are moving 
on toward my beloved equinox!" 

The electro-cardiograph and a chest x-ray revealed no changes 
in his heart. In February he plunged into a new public service, an 
attempt to bring peace through a direct appeal to the sense of the 
holy within two contending forces. The original idea came from a 
former member of the U.S. State Department. 

One Sunday afternoon in February, Francis B. Sayre, formerly 
Assistant Secretary of State and at that time Chairman of the Trustee- 
ship Council of the United Nations, came with another man to call 


on Rufus Jones in Haverford, to talk about the dangerous situation 
that had developed in Palestine as the British Mandate approached 
its termination in May. Riots, street fighting and assassinations marked 
the increasing tension between Jews and Arabs, and more serious 
and widespread violence was feared. Mr. Sayre, seeking even a 
small way to halt the rising tide of war, came to suggest that Rufus 
Jones might organize an appeal from religious leaders in the west to 
religious leaders in Palestine for a Truce of God that would put an 
end to the fighting in the Holy City itself and from there might 
spread peace further. 

"By the next day," Clarence Pickett tells us, "procedures were 
worked out in his mind and a number of people at great distance 
had been consulted by telephone." 

Six people were invited to meet with him and Clarence Pickett at 
Quaker House in New York to form a plan for the appeal. Writing 
to Cardinal Spellman, he explained himself in these words: "You 
may want to know a little more of who I am. I have for thirty years 
been the Head of the American Friends Service Committee which 
has carried relief to almost all parts of the world. I have worked 
continually with Roman Catholic people, especially in Poland and 
Austria and in rural France, and I have all my life been studying 
and writing about Roman Catholic saints and mystics. You will find 
me and those who are invited sympathetic persons to work with." 

Cardinal Spellman was unable to come to the meeting, but he 
sent a representative. The little group, which included Bishop 
Athenagoras of the Eastern Orthodox Church, discussed the possi- 
bilities of the appeal, the draft which Rufus Jones had drawn up, 
and the persons who should be asked to join in signing it. Though 
they were not, Clarence Pickett says in his For More Than Bread, 
"so optimistic as to believe we could bring about an over-all peace 
in this way, we did feel that an effort aimed at a truce in Jerusalem 
might be successful and that such success might in turn have some 
bearing on the wider reconciliation which must be achieved in time." 

Rufus Jones then wrote letters explaining the appeal and its 
purposes to those who he hoped would join him in signing it. 
Cardinal Spellman did not feel that it was something in which the 
Roman Catholic Church could participate, but Geoffrey Francis 
Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, Eiving Bergraav, Primate of the 
Church of Norway, Henry Knox Sherrill, Presiding Bishop of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of America, Archbishop Athenagoras 


of the Eastern Orthodox Church, John R. Mott, of the International 
Y.M.C.A. and Harry Emerson Fosdick, pastor emeritus of the River- 
side Church, New York, signed the appeal, which read as follows: 
"Those of us whose names are listed below, representing some 
of the most important Christian groups all over the world, have 
a profound love for the land of Palestine and for the Holy City 
of Jerusalem. We devoutly wish that we could make peace and 
concord prevail over the entire land, but we are representatives of 
religion, not of politics or of government policies, and we can only 
use persuasion, in no sense the exhibition of force. 

"In the spirit of Religion and in a united love for the City which 
is the mother of our religious faith and of the other religious faiths of 
the Western World, we are united in asking you to establish a 
'Truce of God', which means a holy area of peace and freedom from 
violence, in the City of Jerusalem, until once more this whole land 
which we love and cherish with devotion shall be blessed with peace." 
This appeal was sent to Jerusalem on March twelfth to Rabbi Isaac 
Hertzog, chief Rabbi of Palestine, and to Amin Bey Abdulhabi, head 
of the Supreme Moslem Council. When no answer came, it was re- 
leased to the press on Easter Sunday, March twenty-eighth. On the 
same day the first reply was sent, and the cable reached Rufus Jones 
on the twenty-ninth. "Heartily endorse proposal Truce of God for 
City of Jerusalem — stop — My heartfelt blessing for success your 
efforts. Isaac Hertzog chief Rabbi." 

As the Arabs continued to maintain silence, the A.F.S.C. took steps 
to follow up the appeal with personal interviews. 

In New York Clarence Pickett and Elmore Jackson assistant secre- 
tary of the A.F.S.C. had two meetings with Jamel El Hussein, the 
Vice-Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee, who had come to the 
U.S. to participate in a special meeting of the U.N. Assembly. He 
had three daughters in the Friends School at Ramallah, which Eli and 
Sybil Jones had started and which Rufus Jones had more than once 
visited — a circumstance which doubtless gave him some inkling of 
Friends and their ways. He told Clarence Pickett that the Arab group 
considered the appeal a pro-Jewish move. Though the first meeting 
with Mr. Hussein was fruitless, the second one resulted in an agree- 
ment that Quaker representatives be asked to discuss the appeal di- 
rectly with Rabbi Hertzog and Mr. Amin Bey Abdulhabi and also 
with Dr. Khaldi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee and the 
new Arab military commander for Jerusalem. Mr. Hussein offered 


to send cables preparing the way for such interviews. Rufus Jones 
thereupon cabled to Rabbi Hertzog: "Only slight progress truce dis- 
cussions. James Vail and Edgar Castle Quakers proceeding Beyrouth 
and Jerusalem from Cairo. They will contact you and Abdulhabi and 

James Vail, who had earlier done important work for the A.F.S.C. 
in Germany and India, was already in Egypt; he was asked to go di- 
rectly to Jerusalem, to press the appeal for the truce and to investigate 
the possibilities of a service project in which the A.F.S.C. might bring 
Arabs and Jews to work together. With him was an English educator, 
Edgar B. Castle, representing the Friends Service Council. 

The cabled report on April twenty-sixth, after they had visited Jeru- 
salem and returned to Cairo, gave a horrifying picture of the state to 
which Jerusalem had been reduced. "Saw Jerusalem disintegrating be- 
fore our eyes into physical and moral chaos," it began. A second cable 
next day recommended refugee service for the A.F.S.C. in cooperation 
with the Y.M.C.A. and the Red Cross. The third day the welcome 
news came: Azzam Pasha has just told us Arab League today an- 

Olives . . . We have also presented case to religious leaders 
Jerusalem and are hopeful of their acquiescence. 

Early in May the United Nations decided to set up its own admin- 
istration of Jerusalem on a temporary basis. Both Jews and Arabs 
united in asking that Clarence Pickett be named municipal commis- 
sioner for Jerusalem. When he declined, feeling that he was more 
useful in his post in the A.F.S.C, another Friend was asked for. Harold 
Evans of Philadelphia was appointed, and James Vail was to go with 
him as associate and adviser. 

"The 'Truce of God' did not come to fruition as such," Mr. Sayre 
wrote to Rufus Jones on the nineteenth of May; "but I am sure that 
your efforts have not been futile. The ground work was doubtless laid 
for an outcome which we cannot yet see but which will be better be- 
cause of what you did. Out of it has come indirectly the appointment 
of Harold Evans as Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem." 

Unfortunately before Harold Evans could take office, the British 
Mandate had ended, the state of Israel had been proclaimed and 
recognized, and war had broken out in earnest throughout Palestine. 

Several weeks before the effort toward a Truce of God had strug- 
gled to its conclusion, Rufus Jones had suffered a coronary occlusion. 
He had spoken — with an effort — at Union Theological Seminary in 


March. A little later in the month Bryn Mawr College had celebrated 
his fiftieth year on the Board of Directors with an exhibit of his books 
and a Directors' dinner. A move was under way to establish the Rufus 
Jones Chair of Philosophy and Religion at Bryn Mawr, an honor 
which pleased and touched him very much. He had gone to Meeting 
the Sunday afterwards and preached, as he usually did, and his friends 
had been concerned with his health. That night he was stricken. He 
rallied, however, and by the thirteenth of April, he was writing to a 
friend in England: "I am writing you from my bed, having had two 
weeks in the hospital and now being kept in bed at home, but I am 
making excellent progress and hope before long to be about as usual 

A second attack, three days later, proved to be more serious than 
the first. "For three days," his daughter writes, "he was desperately 
ill; the family doctor sat up all one night with him and the heart 
specialist said only a miracle could save him. The miracle occurred. 
On the third morning the nurse asked Rufus Jones what kind of a 
night he had had and his voice rang out, with some of its old vigour, 

He had work to finish and, indomitable, he proceeded to do it. 
There was a review of a book on Swedenborg that he had promised 
to write. Laboriously, bit by bit, he wrote it. He had promised also 
to speak at New England Yearly Meeting in June. Three years earlier 
the two New England Yearly meetings had joined together after a 
century of separation; it meant much to Rufus Jones to be asked to 
speak to the joint gathering. "It is now perfectly evident," he wrote 
on the second of June, "that I shall not be able to attend New England 
Yearly Meeting, but I have been writing in bed an address for the 
opening Tuesday evening which I hope my daughter, Mary Hoxie, 
will read for me . . . The subject of the address will be 'A Call to a 
New Installment of the Heroic Spirit.' " 

Sitting up an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, 
he wrote at the rate of a page a day the message that he wanted to 
leave with the members of the New England Yearly Meeting. The 
original manuscript is in the Haverford files. The hand is large, open 
and clear as ever, but a little tremulous. There are few corrections 
and those are mostly insertions of words omitted as his hand tried 
to keep pace with his thought. An occasional typed paragraph clipped 
from some previous manuscript is fastened in. 

He contrasted George Fox's reiterated "Be valiant for the Truth" 


with the unheroic atmosphere of Quakerism in his own boyhood, and 
recalled his own youthful determination to be a heroic Quaker. The 
mystical experience at Dieu-le-fit, the editorship of the American 
Friend, the work of the A.F.S.C. abroad and its work camp projects 
at home: these were the events in his own life that he considered 
significant for this address. "I believe that our next heroic effort," he 
wrote, "will be to recover our rural communities and bring back to 
full production the abandoned farm . . . The world rests upon the 
shoulders of common people . . . Few things in the religious world 
are more important than the complete recovery and return to their 
spiritual life of our rural meetings that have made a striking contribu- 
tion to the progress of Quakerism in its earlier days." 

Besides writing this address, he corrected, with the help of Elizabeth 
Jones, the proofs of A Call to What Is Vital. "His bed was strewn," 
his daughter writes, "with the pages of galley proof just as his study 
had been for the past forty years and more. He read a little each day, 
marking the corrections and talking them over with her, showing that 
his mind was as keen as ever. There were no detective stories nor 
crossword puzzles for him. The body might fail, but his mind must 
hold on to the end." 

He wrote cheerful letters to his old friends. To one in England he 
told of his hope soon "to go downstairs where I can sit on the porch 
and watch the cricket games." He exchanged views of the activities 
of age with Vida Scudder, herself now eighty-seven. 

"And now that my active responsibilities are over," wrote Miss 
Scudder on the eleventh of June, "I do try not to be restless, not to 
make people anxious about me, and to center my life in Thanksgiving 
and Adoration." 

"I find it difficult to tell what progress I am making," he replied 
four days later. "I am publishing a book in the autumn which I hope 
will have an important influence. I am endeavoring to interpret Chris- 
tianity to scientific minded people. It is a difficult and dangerous 
undertaking, but the book has been accepted as the Religious Book 
of the Month for October." 

On Commencement Day he was able to go down on the porch to 
watch the cricket match between the Alumni and the students. On 
that day also, one by one, the members of the class which was having 
its fiftieth reunion came in to greet him, and to talk with him about 
old times. 

During the morning of June sixteenth, he read over the typed pages 


of his Yearly Meeting Speech and made a few corrections. He finished 
the last of the galley proof of his book. After lunch he took a nap, 
from which he did not awake. 

Long ago he had written to Sallie Coutant from Paris: "It is my 
great wish exceeding all others that I may feel in the last hour of my 
life that I have done my work and that the Great Father is satisfied 
with my life, so that death may be to me like falling asleep as it is 
for all who faithfully walk the right road." 

It was a sober wish for a young man of twenty-four who had a 
vivid love of life, and perhaps one on which he did not dwell at 
length after he had written the words. At the end of the faithful road, 
sixty-one years later, the important part of it was the finishing of the 
work: to that effort over the ten weeks of pain and weakness he had 
given the last ounce of his strength and determination, and it had 
exactly sufficed. 

The funeral service was held at Haverford Meeting on June 
twentieth, and he was buried in a corner of the little graveyard, near 
those old and dear friends, John Wilhelm Rowntree and Isaac Sharp- 
less. Memorial services were held also at Twelfth Street Meeting, at 
South China and at Northeast Harbor, where he had preached every 
summer for thirty years. 

There was an outpouring of love and appreciation for the life of 
this great and good man: tributes spoken at the services, articles in 
newspapers and magazines, hundreds of letters, as people, often gifted 
writers, attempted to express in a few words what he had been to 

Teacher, philosopher, writer, humanitarian, religious leader: he had 
opened to generations of college students at Haverford and elsewhere 
spiritual realities in a time when the materialist and mechanistic phi- 
losophies were dominant; he had written in a genial, limpid and per- 
suasive style, so simple that it appeared artless, books and articles on 
religion that went far beyond the Quaker fold and spoke to the condi- 
tion of seekers everywhere; he had made a notable contribution to the 
history of Quakerism and to the modern literature on mysticism; he 
had created, as far as one man could, the American Friends Service 
Committee; he had led the Society of Friends, and indeed other Chris- 
tians as well, through the latest of its crises, the encounter with science 
and the historical criticism of the Bible, which might have destroyed 
it; he had been the prime mover in the establishment of the Five Years 


Meeting and had labored for the healing of deep and long-standing 
divisions among Friends; he had travelled the far reaches of the world 
and had made the name of Quaker honorable to many who had never 
heard it before. In the list of Quakers who have won fame and exerted 
an influence beyond the Society of Friends, he stands with William 
Penn, John Woolman, Elizabeth Fry, John Greenleaf Whittier. 

When all that, and more, is said, there is a pause, and these achieve- 
ments are quietly laid aside. Separately, or even collectively, they 
might have been done by others. What made them distinctive was the 
fact that they were done by him and bore the impress of his per- 
sonality. The man that he was gave them their quality and their mean- 
ing. "I assume," he had written in The Luminous Trail, "that the 
major business we are here for in this world is to be a rightly fashioned 
person as an organ of the divine purpose." The core of Rufus Jones's 
philosophy and of his life may be found embedded in that brief, simple, 
profound statement. 


All letters and MSS are to be found in the Rufus Jones Collection, Haverford 
College Library, unless noted otherwise. 
Initials have been used for names which recur frequently: 

EBC— Elizabeth B. Cadbury 
SHC — Sarah H. Coutant 

HH — Herbert Hoover 
LVH— L. Violet Hodgkin (Holdsworth) 

EBJ — Elizabeth B. Jones 
MHJ — Mary Hoxie Jones 
RMJ— Rufus M. Jones 

SCJ — Sarah Coutant Jones 
JWR— John Wilhelm Rowntree 
EGV— the author 

Reference numbers are to page and line. The first bold-face figure is the page 
reference; the second, and the single bold-face figures following are line 
references on the same page. Thus, 
"33.3 Small-Town Boy, p. 50; 37 ibid." means page 33, line 3 . . . and line 37. 

CHAPTER I : South China, Maine 

17.14 Rufus M. Jones (RMJ), Finding the Trail of Life (New York: The 

Macmillan Company, 1926), p. 20. 
19.6 RMJ to Ellen Wood (July 10, 1900); 14 Mary Hoxie Jones (MHJ), 

Rufus M. Jones (London: Friends Home Service Committee, 1955), p. 9; 

22 RMJ, A Small-Town Boy (New York: The Macmillan Company, 

1941), p. 26; 29 Florence Bussell to MHJ (July 27, 1956). 
20.6 RMJ, Pathways to the Reality of God (New York: The Macmillan 



Company, 1931), p. 103; 29 RMJ to MHJ (1939); 36 Finding the 
Trail of Life, p. 21. 

21.5 Theodore Dreiser, The Bulwark (New York: Doubleday & Company, 
Inc., 1946), p. 3. 

22.27 RMJ, "South China's Most Distinguished Citizen" (1947), p. 3 (MS). See 
J. Travis Mills, John Bright and the Quakers (London: Methuen, 1931), 
vol. II, p. 45, for quotations from the Journal. Of Sybil Jones, John Bright 
said, "She, poetical as usual and winning in her sermon but more striking 
in her prayer." 

23.22 RMJ, "History of The American Friend," The American Friend, July 13, 
1944, p. 267. 

24.13 Small-Town Boy, p. 26; 24 RMJ to Elizabeth B. Cadbury (EBC), 
(Nov. 25, 1900); 40 Small-Town Boy, p. 32. 

25.24 Lewis Finkelstein, ed., American Spiritual Autobiographies (New York: 
Harper & Brothers, c. 1948), pp. 122-23; 33 Finding the Trail of Life, 
p. 13. 

26.22 RMJ, Eli and Sybil Jones (Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1889), p. 13. 

27.39 Finding the Trail of Life, p. 44. 

28.15 RMJ, "A Call to a New Installment of the Heroic Spirit" (1948); 32 
Finding the Trail of Life, pp. 55-56; 40 Dreiser, op. cit., p. 19. 

29.6 hoc. cit.; 12 ibid., p. 20; 17 Small-Town Boy, pp. 80-81, 86-87; 21 
Dreiser, op. cit., p. 22; 39 RMJ, Address, May 19, 1946. 

31.36 RMJ to MHJ (1939). 

CHAPTER II : Into the Quaker Stream 

32.5 RMJ ot MHJ (1939); 22 RMJ to E. L. Farr (July 20, 1885). Copy in 
Haverford Files; original at Moses Brown School, Providence, R. I. 

34.3 RMJ to MHJ (March, 1942); 9 RMJ, The Luminous Trail (New 
York: The Macmillan Company), p. 147; 20 Commencement Address, 
Atlantic City Friends School, June, 1927; 32 RMJ to E. L. Farr (March, 
1882); 40 RMJ to E. L. Farr (July 20, 1885). 

35.12 RMJ, The Trail of Life in College (New York: The Macmillan Com- 
pany, 1929), p. 21. 

36.13 Logan Pearsall Smith, Unforgotten Years (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 
1939), p. 79; 33 RMJ to MHJ (April 11, 1948). 

37.7 Frederick Strawbridge to EGV (May, 1956); 13 RMJ to MHJ (1939). 
38.19 Trail of Life in College, p. 33; 36 RMJ, Haverford College: A 

History and an Interpretation (New York: The Macmillan Company, 

1933), p. 62. 
39.3 RMJ, "Quaker Outreach" (1937), p. 3; 28 Trail of Life in College, 

p. 133. 
40.26 The Haverfordian, Dec. 1884, p. 34. 
41.5 Ibid., April, 1885, p. 106. 
42.31 Trail of Life in College, p. 119. 

CHAPTER III : "A Grip on the Base of the World" 

44.16 RMJ to E. L. Farr (October 10, 1885). 

45.14 RMJ to Sarah H. Coutant (SHC), (July 25, 1886); 16 RMJ to SHC 
(June 24, 1888). 

NOTES 319 

46.5 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 15; 13 Lucy Hawkes Meader to MHJ 
(1951); 25 RMJ to SHC (July 11, 1886); 41 RMJ to SHC (July 25, 

47.24 RMJ to SHC (Aug. 7, 1886). 

48.2 RMJ to SHC (Aug. 26, 1886); 23 RMJ to SHC (Aug. 31, 1886); 39 
RMJ to SHC (Sept. 5, 1886). 

49.33 RMJ to SHC (Undated, but probably Sept. 20, 1886). 

50.4 Trail of Life in College, p. 157. Identity of the Friend — Helen Graham 
to MHJ (July 20, 1952); 34 RMJ to SHC (Oct. 17, 1886). 

51.14 RMJ, Testimony of the Soul (New York: The Macmillan Company, 
1936), p. 28; 15 RMJ, New Studies in Mystical Religion (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1927), p. 20; 32 Trail of Life in College, 
pp. 159-60. 

52.2 RMJ to SHC (Dec. 20, 1886); 13 Mary Coutant to SHC (Nov. 28, 
1886); 16 RMJ to SHC (Jan. 4, 1887); 41 RMJ to SHC (Dec. 20, 

53.3 RMJ to SHC (Jan. 19, 1886); 35 RMJ to SHC (April 12, 1887). 
54.8 RMJ to SHC (May 25, 1887); 16 Trail of Life in College, p. 166. 

55.5 RMJ to SHC (April 12, 1887); 11 RMJ to SHC (April 24, 1887); 16 
RMJ to SHC (April 3, 1887); 19 RMJ to SHC (June 29, 1887); 28 
RMJ to SHC (July 12, 1887); 34 Trail of Life in College, p. 81. 

CHAPTER IV : Fresh Fields 

56.8 SHC to RMJ (Sept. 5, 1887); 15 RMJ to SHC (Nov. 6, 1887); 22 

SHC to RMJ (Oct. 30, 1887). 
57.16 RMJ to SHC (March 10, 1888); 32 RMJ, "Whittier's Fundamental 

Religious Faith," in Howard H. Brinton, ed., Byways in Quaker History 

(Pendle Hill, Wallingford, Pa., 1944), pp. 32, 33; 34 Ibid., p. 19. 
58.7 SHC to RMJ (May 6, 1888); 25 SHC to RMJ (May 19, 1888); 31 

SHC to RMJ (June 21, 1888); 35 RMJ to SHC (postmarked June 24, 

59.13 RMJ to SHC (March 4, 1888); 31 RMJ to SHC (Oct. 10, 1887); 36 

Trail of Life in College, p. 172. 
60.1 Howard H. Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years (New York: 

Harper & Brothers, 1952), p. 150; 21 Arthur Hawkes to Emma Roberts 

(Dec. 1, 1955); 30 Nettie Burleigh to MHJ (Sept. 4, 1951). 
61.19 Trail of Life in College, p. 180; 25 Ibid., p. 183; 33 RMJ to SHC 

(Feb. 8, 1887). 
62.4 RMJ to SHC (Oct. 3, 1887); 23 RMJ, The Trail of Life in the 

Middle Years (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1934), p. 18; 38 

Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. 193. 
63.33 Isaac Sharpless to RMJ (March 25, 1893). 

CHAPTER V : A Meeting on a Mountain Top 

64.10 Friends Review, Aug. 24, 1893, p. 67. 

65.34 Ibid., April 26, 1894, pp. 388-89; 40 Agnes Brown Leach to MHJ (Feb. 


66.33 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 52. 

67.40 J. S. Bradway to RMJ (Dec. 29, 1947). 

68.17 RMJ in American Friend, Jan. 3, 1895, p. 3; 22 ibid., Nov. 19, 1896, 
p. 1092. 

69.9 Encyclopaedia Britannica (1929). Article on Quakerism; 23 Quoted 
in RMJ, Later Periods of Quakerism (London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 
1921), vol. II, p. 974. 

70.20 JWR to RMJ (July 27, 1904); 22 RMJ to SCJ (May 21, 1897); 
37 Avierican Friend, June 7, 1897, p. 555; 41 ibid., p. 556. 

72.3 RMJ, John Wilhelm Rowntree (Philadelphia: Committee on Educa- 
tion, Friends General Conference, 1942), pamphlet, unpaged; 11 RMJ 
to SCJ (June 20, 1897); 36 Trail of Life in College, p. 192. 

73.5 RMJ to SCJ (July 4, 1897); 9 SCJ to RMJ (June 17, 1897); 13 
SCJ to RMJ (June 25, 1897); 20 RMJ to SCJ (July 7, 1897); 40 
SCJ to RMJ (July 16, 1897). 

CHAPTER VI : A Time for Digging Deep 

74.6 RMJ to SCJ (Aug. 20, 1897). 

75.22 RMJ to James Wood (Jan. 1, 1900); 36 Trail of Life in College, 

p. 183. 
76.20 RMJ to SCJ (Sept. 19, 1898); 24 RMJ to SCJ (Oct. 11, 1898); 28 

RMJ, "Some Pisgah Reflections," Friends Intelligencer, Jan. 30, 1943, 

p. 68. 
78.1 RMJ to SCJ (Dec. 14, 1898); 28 RMJ to SCJ (Dec. 19, 1897). 
79.1 Elbert Russell, History of Quakerism (New York: The Macmillan 

Company, 1942), p. 492; 23 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 108; 

33 RMJ to SCJ (Oct. 21, 1897); 39 The Friend (London), Nov. 12, 

1897, p. 751. 
80.12 RMJ to SCJ (Oct. 22, 1897); 38 London Yearly Meeting. Christian 

Life, Faith and Thought in the Society of Friends (London: Friends 

Book Centre, 1921), p. 72. 

81.5 RMJ to Ellen Wood (May 29, 1900); 9 Later Periods of Quakerism, 
vol. II, p. 931; 16 The Friend (London), Sept. 5, 1924, p. 760. 

82.18 Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. 199; 40 RMJ to SCJ 
Sept. 10, 1898). 

83.6 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 120. 

84.4 RMJ, A Dynamic Faith (London: Headley Brothers, 1901), p. 4; 8 
ibid., p. 13; 14 ibid., p. 45; 17 ibid., p. 57; 22 ibid., p. 66; 23 
loc. cit.; 24 ibid, p. 88; 30 MS, 1940. 

CHAPTER VII : The Golden Age at Harvard 

85.10 George Herbert Palmer, Autobiography of a Philosopher (Boston: 
Houghton Mifflin Co., 1930), pp. 52-53; 16 Ralph Barton Perry, The 
Thought and Character of William James (Boston: Little, Brown & 
Co., 1935), vol. I, p. 817; 20 George Santayana, Character and Opinion 
in the United States (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956), 
pp. 38, 39. 

NOTES 321 

86.11 Transcript of RMJ's record at Harvard; 16 Trail of Life in the 
Middle Years, p. 6; 30 Palmer, op. cit., p. 61; 33 RMJ, Social Law 
in the Spiritual World (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Co., 
c. 1904), p. 19. 

87.4 RMJ, "Why I Enroll with the Mystics," in Ferm, ed., Contemporary 
American Theology (New York: Round Table Press), vol. I, pp. 197- 
98; 8 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 5; 11 Santayana, op. cit., 
p. 60; 15 William E. Hocking, article on Royce in Encyclopaedia 
Britannica (1929); 19 Perry, op. cit., vol. I, p. 819n; 24 "Why I 
Enroll," ibid., vol. I, p. 198; 30 ibid., p. 211; 33 RMJ to Elizabeth B. 
Cadbury (Dec. 13, 1900). 

88.8 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, p. 197; 24 Trail of Life in the Middle 
Years, p. 197n; 28 RMJ to EBC (Jan. 3, 1901). 

89.16 Isaac Sharpless to RMJ (Feb. 12, 1901). 

CHAPTER VIII : Openings 

91.4 RMJ to EBC (Sept 12, 1900). All the letters between Elizabeth Cadbury 
and Rufus Jones quoted in this chapter were written between September 
12, 1900 and February 17, 1902. 

92.3 EBC's diaries. Yearly summaries from 1888 to 1891 speak of her longing 
to be a nurse — "to be a Christian nurse, such a high profession, is what 
I long and pray for," Dec. 29, 1890; 17 Ellen Wood to RMJ (July 11, 

95.23 RMJ to JWR (Feb. 7, 1902). 

97.20 JWR to RMJ (Jan. 21, 1902); 23 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, 
pp. 82-83; 26 RMJ to JWR (Jan. 16, 1902). 

98.4 RMJ to JWR (Feb. 7, 1902); 25 American Friend, Nov. 6, 1902. 
99.29 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, p. 207. 

100.21 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 84; 26 Luminous Trail, p. 163; 

37 British Friend (London), Sept., 1903, p. 252. 
101.17 American Friend, Sept. 17, 1903, p. 635; 30 Letter from Thomas F. 

Branson to RMJ (July 18, 1903). 

CHAPTER IX : "Social Law in the Spiritual World" 
102.19 Social Law in the Spiritual World, p. 16. 

103.1 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 159; 31 Social Law in the 
Spiritual World, p. 13; 37 ibid., p. 22. 

104.2 Ibid., p. 230. Italics RMJ's; 8 Lecture notes; 23 Social Law in the 
Spiritual World, p. 44; 30 ibid., p. 45; 34 ibid., p. 135. 

105.2 Testimony of the Soul, p. 61; 21 Social Law in the Spiritual 

World, p. 171; 28 ibid., p. 174; 32 ibid., p. 176. 
106.4 Ibid., p. 176, 10 Pathways to the Reality of God, p. 197; 26 RMJ 

to William Bacon Evans (Dec. 26, 1946); 34 Social Law in the 

Spiritual World, p. 180. 
107.8 Ibid., p. 188; 24 ibid., pp. 251-52; 31 RMJ, The Eternal Gospel 

(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938), p. 68; 35 RMJ, New 


Eyes for Invisibles (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943), 
p. 106. 

108.2 Social Law in the Spiritual World, p. 253. 

109.2 Friend (London), Dec. 16, 1904, p. 829; 8 RMJ to JWR (Dec. 26, 
1904); 14 JWR to RMJ (Feb. 15, 1905); 30 Friends Quarterly 
Examiner, April 1907, pp. 156-57. 

110.2 RMJ to George Newman (undated [1907]); 18 Nation (London), 
Aug. 8, 1908; 27 Harry E. Fosdick, The Living of These Days (New 
York: Harper & Brothers, 1956), p. 27; 35 Harry E. Fosdick, ed., 
Rufus Jones Speaks to Our Times: An Anthology (New York: The 
Macmillan Company, 1951), Introduction, p. v; 39 Mrs. Seth Gilford 
to Elizabeth B. Jones (EBJ), (1904). 

1 1 1.33 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 63. 

CHAPTER X : Shaping the Course of Things 

1 12.5 RMJ to JWR (Jan. 10, 1905). 

114.30 RMJ to EBJ (Aug. 22, 1905). 

115.7 RMJ, The Double Search: Studies in Atonement and Prayer (Phila- 
delphia: The John C. Winston Co., 1906), p. 91; A Call to What Is 
Vital (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), p. 134; 14 
Double Search, p. 97; A Call to What Is Vital, p. 136; 15 Double 
Search, p. 101; A Call to What Is Vital, p. 139; 24 RMJ to EBJ 
(Sept. 1, 1905). 

116.36 Report of the Conference, mimeographed. 

118.7 Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. 193; 19 ibid., pp. 193- 
94; 28 E. Russell, op. cit., p. 119. 

119.5 RMJ to George Newman (Aug. 7, 1907); 23 RMJ to EBJ (June 16, 
1905); 35 RMJ to EBJ (June 26, 1905). 

120.4 RMJ to EBJ (June 28, 1905); 32 American Friend, July 13, 1905, 
p. 461. 

121.10 RMJ to EBJ (June 12, 1905). 

122.5 RMJ to EBJ (Jan. 2, 1907). 

123.13 American Friend, June 25, 1908, p. 403; 20 R. B. Perry, Thought and 
Character of William James (One vol. ed.; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard 
University Press, 1948), p. 329; 26 Pathways to the Reality of God, 
p. 209. 

124.35 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, pp. 39-40. 

CHAPTER XI : The Quaker History Begun 

126.4 The Sheffield Telegraph, May 7, 1909; 30 RMJ, Studies in Mystical 
Religion (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1909), p. xxxii; 34 RMJ, 
The Flowering of Mysticism (New York: The Macmillan Company, 
1939), pp. 5-6. 

127.10 Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 165; 25 Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism 
(New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.), (Pref. 1930), p. 267; 32 
Studies in Mystical Religion, pp. xxix-xxx; 40 ibid., p. 284n. 

128.7 Ibid., p. 109; 14 ibid., pp. 215-16; 19 ibid., p. 110; 26 ibid., p. 70. 

NOTES 323 

129.13 W. R. Inge to RMJ (May 20, 1908); 24 Flowering of Mysticism, 

p. 27; 30 Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 7. 
130.8 Ibid., p. 239; 19 ibid., p. 280; 27 ibid., p. 296; 30 ibid., p. 314; 38 

ibid., p. 320. 
131.1 Ibid., p 3.25; 3 ibid., p. 327; 10 ibid., p. 366; 20 ibid., p. 447; 28 

ibid., p. 500. 
132.4 Article by RMJ on Jewish Mysticism. Harvard Theological Review, 

April, 1943; 10 The Christian Commonwealth, Jan. 11, 1911; 13 

Daily News (London), May 13, 1909. 

CHAPTER XII : "The Spiritual Reformers" 

133.12 Alice H. James to RMJ (Oct. 30, 1910); 23 American Friend, Sept. 
15, 1910, p. 583. 

134.12 History of Haverford College, p. 86; 32 EBJ to her parents (June 

135.6 RMJ to L. Violet Hodgkin (LVH), (June 18, 1911); 18 Theodor 
Sippell to RMJ (Feb. 21, 1910); 35 Theodor Sippell to EGV (Mar- 
burg, May 13,1957). 

136.20 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 225; 32 American Friend, Aug. 
10, 1911, p. 499. 

137.25 New Eyes for Invisibles, p. 67; 33 RMJ to EBJ (Aug. 14, 1911). 

138.3 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 226; 16 John S. Hoyland to 
EGV (Woodbrooke, Birmingham, May 6, 1957); 32 RMJ to EBJ 
(Aug. 19, 1913). 

139.6 RMJ to EBJ (Aug. 26, 1913); 33 Theodor Sippell to RMJ (Oct. 26, 

1913; Oct. 31, 1931; Dec. 2, 1931). 
140.9 RMJ, Spiritual Reformers (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1914), 

p. 321; 19 ibid., p. 337; 28 ibid., pp. xlviii, xlix; 29 ibid., p. 1; 30 

loc. cit.; 32 ibid., p. 4. 
141.14 Ibid., pp. 348-49; 23 Geoffrey F. Nuttall, The Holy Spirit in Puritan 

Faith and Experience (Oxford: Blackwell, 1946), p. 15; 28 ibid., 

p. 162. 

142.4 Shailer Mathews to RMJ (Oct. 11, 1915); 9 Aldous Huxley to RMJ 
(Aug. 22, 1945). 

CHAPTER XIII : The End of an Era 

143.18 Arnold S. Rowntree (Sept. 6, 1912). MS copy of Journal. 
144.2 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 185. 

145.5 American Friend, Dec. 26, 1912, p. 823; 25 Trail of Life in the 
Middle Years, pp. 228-29; 39 Report of the Conference at Scalby 
(Aug. 29, 1913). 

146.33 LVH to RMJ (Dec. 13, 1915). 

147.13 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 221; 37 RMJ to EBJ (May 2, 

148.6 D. Garsop for the Overseers (Nov. 14, 1914); 19 Present Day Papers, 
Sept., 1914, p. 247. 

149.1 Loc. cit.; 10 RMJ to LVH (Oct. 20, 1914). 


CHAPTER XW : Low Gear 

150.16 RMJ to EBJ (Jan. 22, 1915). 

151.14 RMJ to EBJ (Feb. 4, 1915); 18 RMJ to EBJ (Feb. 5, 1915); 30 MHJ, 

Rufus M. Jones, p. 43. 
152.26 Present Day Papers, Dec, 1915, p. 351; 32 MHJ, loc. cit. 

153.12 Present Day Papers, Sept., 1915, p. 264; 22 LVH to RMJ (May 31, 
1915); 40 Present Day Papers, Aug., 1915, pp. 234-36. 

154.13 RMJ to MHJ (April 4, 1948). 

CHAPTER XV : "A Service of Love in War Time" 

157.20 RMJ to LVH (July 26, 1917). 

160.9 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 51; 37 RMJ to EBJ (July 18, 1917). 

162.12 Woodrow Wilson to RMJ in RMJ, Service of Love in War Time: 
American Friends Relief Work in Europe, 1917-1919 (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 52; 37 Notes for a talk, 1942. 

165.18 Norman Angell, After All: The Autobiography of Norman Angell 
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, Inc., 1952), p. 209. 

166.27 Service of Love in War Time, p. 265; 32 ibid., p. 240. 

167.21 RMJ to LVH (April 17, 1921). 

CHAPTER XVI : Herbert Hoover and Friend Jones 

169.10 In all of this chapter I am greatly indebted to the Honorable Herbert 
Hoover for clarification of the complicated relationships between the 
American Relief Administration and the American Friends Service Com- 
mittee, for information about the thorny problems of raising money for 
Russian famine relief and for permission to quote his letters to Rufus 

170.17 Carolena M. Wood to Wilbur K. Thomas. Quoted in Mary Hoxie Jones, 
Swords into Ploughshares (New York: The Macmillan Company, 
1937), pp. 77-78. 

172.31 Letter in Roberts Collection, Haverford College. 

174.5 RMJ to EBJ (June 13, 1921); 31 RMJ to EBJ (June 18, 1921). 

175.6 RMJ to EBJ (May 26, 1921). 

176.2 Wilbur K. Thomas to RMJ (Aug. 18, 1921); 26 Mr. Hoover's figures, 

as given to EGV (May 31, 1957). 
177.39 RMJ to James Norton (Aug. 24, 1921). A.F.S.C. files, Haverford College 


178.7 Lewis C. Gannett to James Norton; 30 HH to RMJ (Sept. 10, 1921). 
A.F.S.C. files; Haverford College Library; 47 HH to RMJ (Sept. 
10, 1921). A.F.S.C. files, Haverford College Library. 

179.22 RMJ to HH (Sept. 16, 1921). Signed carbon copy, A.F.S.C. files, 
Haverford College Library; 45 HH to RMJ (Sept. 21, 1921). A.F.S.C. 
files, Haverford College Library. 

180.12 HH to EGV (May 31, 1957). 

181.35 RMJ to HH (Jan. 2, 1922). Signed carbon copy, A.F.S.C. files, Haver- 
ford College Library; 40 HH to RMJ. A.F.S.C. files, Haverford Col- 
lege Library. 

NOTES 325 

182.17 HH to RMJ. A.F.S.C. files, Haverford College Library; 22 RMJ to 

HH, Signed carbon copy, A.F.S.C. files, Haverford College Library. 
183.28 HH to RMJ. 

CHAPTER XVII : "Our Rufus" 

185.4 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 53; 40 RMJ, Nature and Authority of 
Conscience (London: Swarthmore Press, 1920), p. 73. 

186.4 Friend (London), Aug. 20, 1920, p. 522; 10 Official Report of the 
Conference, p. 46. 

187.8 George Newman, "House of the Four Winds," Friends Quarterly 
Examiner, Oct., 1920, p. 335; 25 ibid., p. 344; 31 RMJ to LVH 
(Sept. 3, 1920); 35 RMJ to LVH (Sept. 11, 1920). 

188.12 RMJ to MHJ (April 12, 1948). 

189.37 Cornelia Meigs. What Makes a College: A History of Bryn Mawr 

(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1956), p. 82; 40 RMJ to 

MHJ (April, 1948). 
190.15 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 208; 22 ibid., pp. 208-09; 

26 Eleanor Little Aldrich to EGV. 
191.29 RMJ to Asa Wing (May 3, 1921). 
192.3 Marion E. Parks to RMJ (Jan. 24, 1922; Feb. 22, 1922; 11 Edith Finch, 

Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr (New York: Harper and Brothers, 

c. 1947), p. 268; RMJ to MHJ (April 2, 1948; 34 EBJ to MHJ (Oct. 

22, 1922). 

193.9 RMJ to LVH (July 20, 1919; 17 RMJ to LVH (April 17, 1921); 
32 Later Periods of Quakerism, vol. II, p. 915. 

194.31 Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. viii; 35 ibid., p. ix. 
195.12 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 189; 20 Pathways to the 

Reality of God, p. 118; 24 Eternal Gospel, p. 79; 28 ibid., p. 72; 

30 RMJ, Religion and Life (Shanghai: Association Press, 1926), p. 48; 

35 Pathways to the Reality of God, p. 119; 40 Eternal Gospel, 

p. 68. 
196.7 Later Periods of Quakerism, vol. II, p. 554; 10 loc. cit.; 17 Social 

Law in the Spiritual World, p. 75. 

197.6 RMJ to Violet Hodgkin Holdsworth (LVH), (July 23, 1922); 9 RMJ, 
The Abundant Life (London: Headley, 1908), p. 31; 12 American 
Pulpit Series (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, c. 1945), Bk. 8, 
p. 50; 16 RMJ, Spiritual Energies in the Daily Life (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1922), p. 123. 

198.7 RMJ to LVH (July 11, 1921). 

CHAPTER XVIII : Athens and the Holy Land 

201.24 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, pp. 208-09. 

202.15 RMJ to MJH (Feb. 22, 1923); 25 EBJ to MHJ (Feb. 22, 1923). 

203.4 RMJ to MHJ (March 10, 1923); 9 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 55; 
17 Friend (London), April 13, 1923, p. 262. 

204.18 RMJ to MHJ (May 23, 1923). 

205.18 RMJ, The Radiant Life (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944), 
p. 5. 

206.5 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 65. 
207.10 RMJ to Hubert Peet (April 19, 1940). 


CHAPTER XIX : New Noises, New Calls 

209.4 RMJ to MHJ (May 30, 1926); 22 Journal, June 25, 1926; 34 ibid., 
June 26, 1926. 

210.9 Ibid., July 11, 1926; 20 RMJ to Wilbur K. Thomas (July 21, 1926). 
211.24 RMJ to EBJ (Aug. 10, 1926). 

213.4 Commencement Address, the Atlantic City Friends School, June, 1927; 
32 Journal, Sept. 3, 1926. 

214.10 Ibid., Sept. 7, 1926; 34 ibid., Oct. 13, 1926. 

215.28 Ibid., Oct. 29, 1926; 38 RMJ to Charles Evans (Nov. 6, 1926). 

217.17 Journal, Nov. 26, 1926. 

218.4 RMJ to M. K. Gandhi (April 20, 1926). Carbon copy; 41 Signet 
Books, New American Library, 1954, p. 55. 

220.17 Michael Coates an English Quaker whom Gandhi had known in Swazi- 
land. RMJ corresponded with him in 1938. (RMJ to Clarence E. Pickett, 
April 22, 1938. Cop V .) 

221.40 Journal, Dec. 1, 1926. 

223.2 Ibid., Dec. 11, 1926; 37 RMJ, The Shepherd Who Missed the Mangek 
(New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1941), pp. 4-5. 

CHAPTER XX : The Orient Again 

225.6 MHJ, Swords into Ploughshares, pp. 129-130; 21 Clarence E. Pickett, 
For More Than Bread (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1953), p. x. 

227.3 RMJ, "What Saints and Sages See," The Christian Century, Jan. 12, 
1930, p. 206; 35 RMJ, "Secular Civilization and the Christian Task," 
in International Missionary Council, Jerusalem Meeting, vol. I, p. 230. 

228.2 Ibid., p. 248; 37 RMJ to John R. Mott (Nov. 5, 1930). Carbon copy. 

229.7 RMJ to Richard Roberts (Oct. 16, 1931). Carbon copy. 

231.38 RMJ, "Letter from China," Friend (London), April 29, 1932, p. 354. 

232.29 William E. Hocking to MHJ (1951). 

233.31 Rethinking Missions: A Laymen's Inquiry After One Hundred Years, 

by the Committee of Appraisal. William Ernest Hocking, Chairman 

(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1932), pp. 4-5. 
234.26 Christian Century, Nov., 1932, p. 1434. 

CHAPTER XXI : Midwife to the Soul 

238.7 Friend (London), Jan. 20, 1933, pp. 48-49. 

239.18 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 60; 24 Trail of Life in College, p. 11; 
34 New Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 112; 40 Trail of Life in 
the Middle Years, p. 212. 

240.24 David Maxfield to his father, E. L. Maxfield (Nov. 17, 1933); 37 How- 
ard Comfort to EGV (Nov., 1956). 

241.15 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 154; 30 ibid., pp. 161-62. 

242.11 William Wistar Comfort in The Friend (Philadelphia), July 1, 1948; 
15 F. A. Swan to RMJ, March 23, 1902; 17 RMJ, "Some Pisgah Re- 
flections," Friends Intelligencer, Jan. 30, 1943, p. 69; 25 Sigmund 
Spaeth to EGV (July 23, 1957). 

NOTES 327 

243.16 Daniel F. Coogan, Jr., to EGV (July 20, 1957); 37 Clyde E. Milner 

to EGV (Oct., 1955). 
244.2 Dr. Frederick R. Taylor. Introduction to an Address by Rufus Jones; 

5 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, p. 211; 34 MHJ, Rufus M. 

Jones, p. 60. 

CHAPTER XXIII : The Mysticism of Rufus Jones 

249.22 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, p. 207. 

250.8 Ibid., p. 209; 11 Testimony of the Soul, p. 21; 18 W. C. Braith- 
waite, The Beginnings of Quakerism (London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 
1912), Introduction, p. xxxiv; 26 Trail of Life in the Middle Years, 
p. 195; 30 Spiritual Reformers, p. xxiii; 38 New Studies in Mys- 
tical Religion, p. 23; 39 Fundamental Ends of Life, p. 120. 

251.4 Flowering of Mysticism, p. 251; 20 Luminous Trail, p. 26; 24 
Pathways to the Reality of God, p. 24; 40 Testimony of the Soul, 
p. 209. 

252.6 Luminous Trail, p. 18; 12 New Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 49; 

17 Social Law in the Spiritual World, p. 152; 23 Flowering of 

Mysticism, p. 6. 
253.6 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, p. 202; 18 Testimony of the Soul, 

pp. 196-97; 23 Luminous Trail, p. 18; 29 "Why I Enroll," ibid., 

vol. I, p. 203. 
254.1 Mysticism and Democracy in the English Commonwealth, p. 121; 

9 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, pp. 203-04; 28 Fundamental Ends 

of Life, p. 103. 

255.5 Thomas H. Hughes, Philosophic Basis of Mysticism (Edinburgh: Clark, 
1937), p. 14; 35 Flowering of Mysticism, p. 184. 

256.10 Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. 64; 12 Social Law 
in the Spiritual World, p. 153; 22 "Why I Enroll," ibid., vol. I, 
p. 206. 

257.1 Faith and Practice of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1955), p. 19; 
15 RMJ to LVH (Nov. 12, 1936); 20 Social Law in the Spiritual 
World, p. 153; 36 Brinton, Friends for Three Hundred Years, p. xiii. 

258.10 American Friend, June 29, 1899, p. 603; 21 Religion and Life, p. 31; 

23 New Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 118; 28 Pathways to the 

Reality of God, p. 130. 
259.25 Fundamental Ends of Life, p. 96. 
260.3 Spiritual Reformers, p. xxiv; 4 New Studies in Mystical Religion, 

p. 198; 8 loc. cit.; 13 Fundamental Ends of Life, p. 115; 24 New 

Studies in Mystical Religion, p. 15; 27 Spiritual Reformers, 

p. xxiiin.; 31 Testimony of the Soul, pp. 29-30. 

261.2 Ibid., pp. 30-31; 8 ibid., pp. 29-30; 24 ibid., p. 29. 

262.3 New Studies in Mystical Religion, pp. 81-82; 7 Testimony of the 
Soul, p. 29. 

CHAPTER XXIV : Great Occasions 
264.23 Alumnae Bulletin (Bryn Mawr), Jan., 1936, p. 5; 30 M. Carey Thomas 

to RMJ (April 26, 1929); 40 Resolution adopted Dec. 17, 1936. 
266.27 Report of Harriet B. Hubbard, Dreiser's secretary, quoted in Gerhard 


Friedrich: "The Dreiser-Jones Correspondence," Friends Historical 
Association. Bulletin, Spring, 1957, p. 24; 37 loc. cit. 

267.2 Theodore Dreiser to RMJ (April 23, 1943); 17 "Report of Rufus 
Jones's Remarks at a Joint Meeting of Friends Service Council and 
Home Service Committee, London, Oct., 1929." American Friend, Nov. 
7, 1929, p. 825; 27 ibid. 

268.4 American Friend, June 21, 1906, p. 99. 

270.27 Friend (London), Sept. 24, 1937, p. 870; 37 ibid., p. 869. 

CHAPTER XXV : South Africa 

271.12 Howard H. Brinton, ed., Children of Light (New York: The Macmillan 
Company, 1938), p. ix. 

274.13 RMJ, Notes on meetings with General Smuts, 1938; 35 ibid. 

275.3 Ibid.; 13 RMJ to MHJ (March 14, 1938); 24 Jan Smuts to Mar- 
garet Gillett (1946). Quoted by her in a letter to RMJ (Feb. 2, 1946); 
34 RMJ to Clarence E. Pickett (March 13, 1938). 

276.3 RMJ to MHJ (March 18, 1938); 24 F. William Fox to RMJ (April 
24, 1938) ; 38 RMJ to Clarence E. Pickett (April 22, 1938). 

278.28 RMJ to MHJ (June 8, 1938). 

279.2 MS. 1938. 

CHAPTER XXVI : Mission to the Gestapo 

281.12 Pickett, op. cit., p. 134. 

282.14 RMJ, "Our Day in the German Gestapo," American Friend, July 10, 
1947, p. 265. 

283.17 RMJ to EBJ (Dec. 4, 1938). 

284.2 Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, Dec. 6, 1938; 16 G. A. Walton, Journal, 

Dec. 6, 1938. 
286.30 Evening Bulletin, Dec. 6, 1938; 35 "Our Day in the German Gestapo," 

ibid., p. 266. 
288.4 RMJ to Clarence E. Pickett (Dec. 13, 1938); 14 RMJ to EBJ (Dec. 

16, 1938); 19 H. H. G. Schacht, Confessions of the "Old Wizard" 

(Boston: Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1956), pp. 351-52. 

289.11 D. Robert Yarnall, "Factual notes" (Dec. 15, 1938). 

290.2 "Our Day in the German Gestapo," ibid., p. 266; 12 G. A. Walton, 
Journal, Dec. 17, 1938. 

291.15 "Our Day in the German Gestapo," ibid., p. 266; 39 ibid., p. 267. 
292.26 Schacht, op. cit., p. 351-52; 30 D. R. Yarnall, "Factual notes" (Dec. 

20, 1938). 

293.12 Pickett, op. cit., p. 137. 

CHAPTER XXVII : The Vital Cell 

296.31 RMJ, ed., The Church, the Gospel and War (New York: Harper & 
Brothers, 1946). Introduction, p. ix; 32 RMJ, The Quaker Peace 
Position (Richmond, Ind.: Peace Ass'n of Friends in America), unpaged. 

298.11 Radiant Life, p. Ill; 22 ibid., p. 136; 40 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, 
p. 66. 

NOTES 329 

CHAPTER XXVIII : The Finishing of the Work 

302.22 RMJ, Original Quakerism a Movement Not a Sect (Richmond, 
Indiana, 1945), p. 3. 

303.2 Ibid., p. 24. 

306.7 Luminous Trail, p. 8. 

307.9 RMJ to MHJ (Dec. 11, 1947); 20 RMJ to MHJ (Dec. 3, 1947); 
34 RMJ to MHJ (Jan. 27, 1948). 

308.3 RMJ to MHJ (Jan. 21, 1948); 9 A Call to What Is Vital, p. 5. 

309.13 American Friend, July 8, 1948, p. 223; 23 RMJ to Cardinal Spellman 
(Feb. 10, 1948). Carbon copy; 33 Pickett, op. cit., p. 262. 

312.12 RMJ to Corder Catchpool (April 13, 1948); 19 MHJ, Rufus M, 

Jones, p. 68. 
313.12 MS.; 20 MHJ, Rufus M. Jones, p. 69. 
314.9 RMJ to SHC (July 8, 1887). 

315.14 Luminous Trail, p. 13. 


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Some Problems of Life (Cole Lectures). Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 

1937. 214pp. 
The Eternal Gospel. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938. 235pp. 
The Flowering of Mysticism: The Friends of God in the Fourteenth 

Century. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1939. 270pp. 
The Shepherd Who Missed the Manger. New York: Doubleday & Co., 

1941. 28pp. 
A Small-Town Boy. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1941. 154pp. 
Spuut in Man. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1941. 70 pp. 
The Vital Cell (William Perm Lecture). Philadelphia: Book Committee 

of the Religious Society of Friends, 1941. 27pp. 
New Eyes for Invisibles. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943. 

The Radiant Life. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944. 154pp. 
The Luminous Trail. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947. 165pp. 
A Call to What Is Vital. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948. 



Abdulhabi, Amin Bey, 310, 311 

Abundant Life, The (RMJ), quoted, 

Addams, Jane, 170, 171 

Adirondacks, 73, 74 

Affirmation mystics, see Mysticism, af- 
firmative type 

Ahmedabad, 218, 219 

Albion, Maine, 19 

Albrecht, Hans, 285, 286 

Aldrich, Eleanor Little, 190 

All Friends Conference (1920), 184-86 

American Friend, The, 66, 67-69, 77, 
78, 80, 84, 88, 92, 99, 102, 113, 119, 
120, 143, 145, 147, 263, 267, 313; com- 
ments on, 68, 77, 145; editorials, 
quoted, 68, 70, 101, 120, 133, 144-45 

American Friends Fellowship Commit- 
tee, 268 

American Friends Service Committee, 
67, 116, 156-83, 184, 197, 209, 220, 
225-26, 246, 267, 269, 271, 278, 294, 
297, 303, 305, 310, 311, 313; establish- 
ment of, 158; RMJ chairman of the 
board, 159-60, 263, 295; draft prob- 
lems, 161-62; work in France, 162-66, 
299; in Poland, 166, 173-74; in Ger- 
many, 169-73, 280, 293; in Russia, 
175-83; in coal-mining regions, 183, 
226, 263; reorganization (1928), 224- 
25; work for refugees, 263, 280, 293; 
in Spanish Civil War, 266; in World 

War II, 295, 303; Nobel Prize, 306- 

American Red Cross, 157, 158, 159, 

161, 162, 163, 175, 176 
American Relief Administration, 169, 

170, 175, 176, 181 
Anabaptists, 125, 131 
Andrews, Howard, 307 
Angell, James Rowland, 239 
Angell, Norman, 165 
Anglesey, 138-39 
Angriff, Der, 286 
Aquitania (ship), 187 
Arch Street Yearly Meeting, see Phila- 
delphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) 
Ardonia, 45, 55, 56, 73, 75, 89, 98, 99, 

Arnold, Matthew, 108 
Assisi, 226; St. Francis of, see Francis 

of Assisi, St. 
Athenagoras, Bishop, 309 
Athens, 92, 201-02, 226 
Atlantic Monthly, 196, 307-08 
Autmstine, St., 128 
Austria, 174, 280 
Autobiography of George Fox (RMJ), 

Ayer Lectures, 265 

Babbitt, James A., 67, 157, 163 
Bailey, Hannah J., 47 
Baker, Newton D., 162 




Bakewell Summer School, 122 

Balch, Emily Greene, 306 

Balderston, Lydia and Mark, 41 

Barbour, Clarence A., 230, 236 

Barclay, Robert, 105, 109, 257; Apol- 
ogy, 105, 194 

Barrow, Harrison, 174 

Barrow, Richard, 49 

Barton, Carrie, 67 

Barton, George A., 56, 61, 81, 82, 98, 
100, 146, 189, 197-98, 238 

Bartram, John, 91 

Battey, Thomas, 33 

Battey, William, 58 

Battle Creek Sanatorium, 151 

Behmen, see Boehme, Jacob 

Bellers, John, 141 

Benson, R. H., 131 

Bergraav, Eiving, 309 

Berlin, 73, 170, 245, 282, 284, 288, 292; 
Friends Center in, 246, 280, 285, 293 

Bernard of Clairvaux, St., 254 

Bethlehem, 223 

Betts, Edgar L., 230 

Bible, 23, 27, 33, 62, 68, 69, 83, 106, 118, 
141, 220, 308; Higher Criticism of, 
65, 77, 314; RMJ's courses in, 239, 

Bible Institute, 121 

Birdsall, Rhoda, 58 

Birdsall, Samuel, 58 

Birmingham, 49, 71, 97, 98, 124 

Blake, William, 254 

Bodleian Library, 123, 204, 298 

Boehme, Jacob, 117, 125, 135, 139, 140- 

Bok, Edward W., 294 

Bok Award, 294 

Boone, Mrs. Wilmot D., 212 

Boston Transcript, 110 

Bownas, Samuel, 305 

Boy Jesus, The (RMJ), 196 

Boy's Religion from Memory, A 
(RMJ), 99; see also Finding the 
Trail of Life 

Bradford College, 265 

Braithwaite, J. Bevan, 24, 50, 57 

Braithwaite, William Charles, 50, 81, 90, 
115, 116, 124, 139, 144, 185, 187, 193, 
194, 195, 205; Beginnings of Quaker- 
ism, 139; Introduction by RMJ, 139, 
194; quoted, 250; Second Period of 
Quakerism, 193; Introduction by 
RMJ, 194 

Brayshaw, A. Neave, 115, 124 

Brethren of the Common Life, 130, 

Bright, John, 22, 44, 49, 57 

Brinton, Howard H., 82, 117, 194, 229, 

256, 257, 271; friends for Three 

Hundred Years, 59, 62-63, 118 
British Friend, 145 
British Museum, 138, 226, 246, 298 
Brooks, Phillips, 34 
Brother Jocundus, story of, 205-206 
Brown, Arlo A., 230 
Brown, "Master Thomas," 144 
Brown, T. Wistar, 41, 65, 77, 81, 89, 98, 

Brown, Walter Lyman, 176 
Brown, William Adams, 143 
Brown University, 35, 37, 236 
Browning, Robert, 44, 71, 89, 108, 188; 

Paracelsus, 92 
Brown's Mills, 268 
Bryn Mawr College, 28, 29, 40, 65, 67, 

76, 92, 95, 188-92, 209, 299, 312; RMJ 

chairman of board of directors, 184; 

fiftieth anniversary celebration, 263- 

64; Rufus Jones Chair of Philosophy 

and Religion, 312 
Bryn Mawr graduates in Japan, 232 
Buber, Martin, 255 
Buchan, John, Lord Tweedsmuir, 203, 

Buck, Pearl, 234 
Buddha, 217 

Buddhism, 227; see also Zen Buddhism 
Bunsen, 54 
Burleigh, Nettie, 61 

Cadbury, Anna Kaighn, 91, 201 
Cadbury, Barrow, 186 
Cadbury, Benjamin, 95 
Cadbury, Catherine, 230, 277 
Cadbury, Elizabeth (Mrs. George), 71, 

114, 185 
Cadbury, Elizabeth Bartram, see Jones, 

Elizabeth Bartram 
Cadbury, Emma, 92, 204, 269 
Cadbury, George, 71, 96-97, 98, 114 
Cadbury, Henry J., 91, 124, 146, 151, 

158, 159, 225, 233, 239, 246, 295, 306 
Cadbury, Joel, 91, 96, 201 
Cadbury, Joel (father), 91 
Cadbury, Dr. William, 215, 230, 277, 

Caird, Edward, 86, 103 
Caird, John, 103 ; Fundamental Ideas of 

Christianity, 92 
Cairo, 203, 267, 311 
California, 119, 206,265 
California Yearly Meeting, 119 
Call, The, 182, 183 
Call to a New Installment of the 

Heroic Spirit, A (RMJ), 312-13; 

quoted, 28 



Call to Persons of Good Will, A 

Call to What Is Vital, A (RMJ), 51, 

114, 308, 313; quoted, 259 
Cambridge (England), 185, 247 
Cambridge (Mass.), 88, 147 
Canton, 230, 231, 277, 278 
Capetown, 272, 274, 275 
Carew Lectures, 139, 147 
Carlyle, Thomas, 44, 195 
Carter, Roger, 286 
Castle, Edgar B., 311 
Catchpool, Corder, 225 
Chaplin, Charles, 232 
Charlbury, 122-24 
Chase, Maria, 38 
Chase, Pliny, 37-39, 40, 41, 53, 238,249; 

death, 52 
Chase, Thomas, 36, 37, 38, 238 
Chesterton, G. K., 132 
Chiang K'ai-shek, 211 
Children of Light, 271 
China, 208, 210-16, 221-22, 230-32, 277- 

China Lake, 18, 26, 238, 279 
China Monthly Meeting (Maine), 60, 

Chinese students, 214 
Christ, 84, 107-08, 129, 258 
Christian Century, 234, 242 
Christian Commonwealth, 132 
Christian Thought, History of, RMJ's 

courses on, 76, 239, 242-43 
Christian Worker, The, 63, 66 
Christianity, 116, 129, 130, 131, 140,211, 

219-20, 227, 254, 277, 313; in the 

Orient, 209, 212, 231; in the U.S.A., 

Church's Debt to Heretics, The 

(RMJ), 204, 206 
Civilian Public Service, 295 
Clark, Edith, 48 

Clement of Alexandria, 251, 306; Se- 
lections from the Writings of 

(RMJ), 251 
Coates, Michael, 220 
Coffin, Henry Sloan, 229 
Colby College, 61, 269 
Cole Lectures, 265 
Coleridge, Samuel T., 108 
Comfort, Anna, 90, 98, 99 
Comfort, Howard, 240, 242 
Comfort, William Wistar, 160, 192, 

208, 242, 299 
Communism in China, 214 
Communists in U.S.A., 179-80 
Comstock, Elizabeth, 44 

Conscientious objectors, 156, 161-62, 

186, 295 
Coogan, Daniel, Jr., 242-43 
Cook, Elijah, 44 
Coolidge, Calvin, 209 
Costellio, Sebastian, 254 
Coutant, Clementine, 45, 46 
Coutant, Emma, 45, 60 
Coutant, James Hawkeshurst, 45, 56, 

Coutant, Lydia, 45 
Coutant, Mary, 52, 55 
Coutant, Peter, 45 
Coutant, Sarah H., see Jones, Sarah 

Cricket, 35, 36, 313 
Crossley, Margaret, 204 

Daily News (London), 132 

Damascus Academy, 47 

Dante, 37, 66, 67, 88, 92, 100, 108, 130 

Davison, Henry P., 158 

Day of Broken Glass, 281 

Delacroix, Henri: Etude d'Histoire et 

de Psychologie de Mysticism, 131 
de Laguna, Theodore, 165 
Dell, William, 131 
Denck, Hans, 135, 140, 141, 254, 306 
Dieckhoff, Hans Heinrich, 281, 287, 

Dieulefit, 51, 78, 235, 313 
Dionysius the Areopagite, 128, 129, 

Dirigo Meeting, 21-23 
Double Search, The (RMJ), 114, 308; 

quoted, 115 
Douglas, Mellie, 121 
Douglas, John Henry, 121 
Dreiser, Theodore, 20, 266-67; The 

Bulwark, 21, 28-29, 266 
Drinker, Cecil K., 239 
Drummond, Henry: Natural Law in 

the Spiritual World, 103 
Durban, 276, 277 
Dynamic Faith, A (RMJ), 83, 84, 93, 

97; quoted, 83, 84 

Earl Lectures, 265 

Earlham College, 66, 16, 82, 121, 225 

Earlhmaite, The, 283 

Eckhart, Meister, 87, 130, 252, 254, 255 

Eli and Sybil Jones (RMJ), 62; quoted, 

Eliot, Charles W., 210 
Eliot, George, 45 
Eliot, T. S., 245 
Elkinton, Howard, 285, 286 
Elkinton, Katharine, 285, 286 
Emerson, Charles Phillips, 230 



Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 38, 54, 57, 108, 

241, 249; The Oversold, 92-93 
England, 49-50, 70-71, 89, 98, 99-101, 

114-16, 122-24, 133, 138-39, 205, 226, 

247, 267, 270 
Engleberg Valley, 137 
English Friends, 22, 69, 70-71, 90, 122, 

138, 148, 149, 156-57, 161-66, 170, 173, 

177, 266, 267, 273, 284, 288, 306 
Erasmus, 140, 253, 254, 265, 306 
Erigena, John Scotus, 126 
Erlinger, Dr., 290 
Eternal Gospel, The (RMJ), 107, 248, 

275, 279; quoted, 195 
Ethics, RMJ's course on, 239, 243 
Eucken, Rudolf, 190 
Evangelical Friend, The, 118, 144 
Evans, Harold, 311 
Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia), 283- 

Everard, John, 117, 141 
Evian Conference, 287, 289 

Faith and Practice of the Quakers, 

The (RMJ), 214 
Family of Love, 131 
Farmer's Almanac, 23 
Farr, Edward, 32, 34, 42, 44, 48 
Fellowship Committee, see American 

Friends Fellowship Council 
Fellowship for Christian Cooperation, 

Fellowship of Reconciliation, 167, 184, 

Fenelon, 194, 261 
Fichte, 86, 241 
Finch, Edith: Carey Thomas of Bryn 

Mawr, 188, 189, 192 
Finding the Trail of Life (RMJ), 19, 

20, 25, 99, 235, 297; quoted, 17, 20, 

Fischer, Kuno, 54 
Fischer, Louis: Gandhi: His Life and 

Message for the World, 218 
Fisher, Geoffrey Francis, Archbishop 

of Canterbury, 309 
Fitzgerald, Edward, 108 
Five Years Meeting, 98, 118, 143, 144, 

148, 158, 263, 282, 301; establishment 

of, 78-81; Business Committee, 98, 

301; see also Quinquennial Confer- 
ence; Uniform Discipline 
Florence, 134, 247 
Flowering of Mysticism, The (RMJ), 

130, 137, 248, 259, 279; quoted, 126, 

129, 252, 255 
Fosdick, Dr. Harry Emerson, 110, 310; 

The Living of These Days, 110; 

Rufus Jones Speaks to Our Time, 
110, 146-47 

Fothergill, Samuel, 305 

Fox, F. William, 276 

Fox, George, 36, 38, 39, 68, 81, 84, 87, 
106, 130, 131, 135, 140-41, 206, 256, 
302, 305, 313-13; Autobiography of 
George Fox (RMJ), 99; Letter to 
the Governor of Barbados, 80-81, 

France, 50 ff., 157 ff., 247 

Francis of Assisi, St., 51, 53, 100, 221, 
306; stigmatization of, 127, 226-27; 
Third Order of, 268 

Franck, Sebastian, 135, 141, 254 

Freitag, Dr., 286, 287 

French Friends, 51, 52, 53, 247 

Freud, Sigmund, 103, 104 

Friedrich, Gerhard, 266 

Friend, The (London), 71, 81, 83, 108- 
09, 196, 203, 237, 270 

Friend, The (Philadelphia), 62, 108 

Friends, Society of, see English 
Friends, French Friends, etc.; Quak- 

Friends Ambulance Unit, 157 

Friends Anglo-American Mission, 161- 

Friends Fellowship Papers, 109 

Friends Institute, 158-59 

Friends Intelligencer, 62, 108, 222, 297 

Friends of God, 129-30, 245-46, 248, 
254, 305 

Friends Quarterly Examiner, 109 

Friends Review, 23-24, 61, 62, 63, 64, 

Friends School, see Atlantic City 
Friends School, Haverford Friends 
School, Providence Friends School, 
Ramallah Friends School 

Friends Select School, 91 

Friends Service Committee, see Amer- 
ican Friends Service Committee 

Friends Service Council, 246, 267, 285, 
306, 307, 311 

Friends Social Union, 238, 271 

Friends University, 121 

Friends World Conference, 269-70 

Fry, Elizabeth, 62, 315 

Fry, Joan M., 90, 124, 146, 186, 284 

Fundamental Ends of Life (RMJ), 
206; quoted, 250, 259, 260 

Galilee, Sea of, 202, 204 

Gandhi, 217-18, 307; visit of RA4J to, 

Gannett, Lewis, 178 
Garrett, John B., 40, 65 
Geist, Raymond B., 286, 287, 289 



Geneva, 53 

George Fox, Seeker and Friend 

German children, feeding of, see 

American Friends Service Commit- 
tee, in Germany 
German Friends, 270, 284-85 
Germantown Meeting, 41, 308 
Germany, 169, 170, 280, 281, 282, 285- 

Gestapo, 287, 292; statement to, 289, 

290-91; Quaker Meeting in, 291 
Gifford, Seth K., 33, 38, 110, 111 
Gilbert, Prentiss B., 285-86 
Gilkie, Charles, 229 
Gillett, Margaret, 275 
Gillett, Martha, 50 
Goddard, Herbert, 30 
Goebbels, 286 
Goering, 288 
Goethe, 44, 54, 88, 108 
Golf, 67, 94, 151 
Gorki, Maxim, 175 
Graham, John William, 50 
Grahamstown, 276 
Great Issues of Life Series, 247-48 
Great Succession of Torchbearers, 

The (RMJ),305 
Greece, 200, 201-02, 203, 226 
Green, Harriet, 79 
Green, T. H.: Prolegomena to Ethics, 

Griggs, Elizabeth, 45, 55 
Grindelwald, 72, 124 
Groote, Gerard, 130 
Grubb, Edward, 124, 139, 145, 146, 185, 

Guardian, The (Madras), 237 
Guion, Mme., 194, 261 
Gulliver's Travels, 24 
Gummere, Amelia M., 134 
Gummere, Francis, 67, 238 
Gurney, Joseph John, 62, 63 

Haines, Anna J., 175, 180 
Happich, Frau, 173, 246 
Happich, Hanna, 136 
Happich, Pastor, 136, 137, 148 
Harris, Rendel, 70, 71, 72, 81, 90, 98-99, 

100, 114, 203 
Harrison, Thomas Q., 220, 222 
Hartford Theological Seminary, 139, 

Hartshorne, Dr. Henry, 63 
Harvard Theological Review, 242 
Harvard University, 37, 59, 61, 63, 85- 

89, 92; RMJ appointed to Board of 

Preachers, 147 
Harvey, Edmund T., 115, 124, 157 

Haverford (Pa.), 90, 101, 150, 154, 277 
Haverford College, 24, 31, 35-42, 44, 

63, 64, 76, 77, 89, 196, 228, 239; cen- 
tennial celebration, 238; Library, 298, 

Haverford College: A History and an 

Interpretation (RMJ), 194-95, 238; 

quoted, 134 
Haverford Emergency Unit, 157, 160 
Haverford Friends School, 303 
Haverford Meeting, 37, 41, 67, 98, 113, 

148, 188, 314 
Haverford Reconstruction Unit, 160- 

Haverford Summer School, 81-82, 102 
Haverfordian, The, 37, 40-41, 63 
Headley Bros, (publishers), 83 
Healey, Guy B., 61 
Heaton, Clementine, see Coutant, 

Hegel, 103, 130, 162, 194, 241 
Heidelberg, 53-54 
Helena, St., 272 
Herbert, George, 108, 140 
Hermann, William, 137 
Hertzog, Isaac, 310, 311 
Hertzog, J. B. M., 273 
Heydrich, Reinhard, 290, 291, 292 
Hibbert Lecture, 247 
Himmler, 290 

Hinduism, 220, 221, 222, 227 
Hitler, 246, 275, 283, 288, 292; Mein 

Kampf, 284 
Hocking, W. E., 87, 230, 231, 232, 233 
Hocking, Mrs. W. E., 231 
Hodgkin, Henry T., 184, 212, 229, 236, 

Holdsworth, Violet Hodgkin, 90, 124, 

Violet Hodgkin 
Hodgkin, Thomas, 71, 90, 122 
Holdsworth, John, 197 
Holdsworth, Violet Hodgkin, 90, 124, 

146, 153, 186, 197 
Home Sendee Committee, 267 
Homiletic Review, 196, 242 
Hong Kong, 214, 230 
Honolulu, 233 
Hoover, Herbert, 168-83, 226, 238, 264, 

265, 296, 303; Letters, quoted,, to 

RMJ, 171-72, 178, 179, 182, 183 
Horton, Douglas, 229 
Houghton, Henry S., 230 
Howard, Elizabeth Fox, 225 
Howland, John and Susannah, 44 
Hoxie, Lizzie, 34 
Hoxie, Mary, see Jones, Mary Hoxie 

(mother of RMJ) 
Hoxie, Matthew, 17, 19 
Hoyland, John S., 138, 225 



Hiigel, Baron Friedrich von, 205; 

Mystical Element in Religion, 103, 

Hughes, Thomas H.: Philosophical 

Basis of Mysticism, 254-55 
Hung, William, 212 
Hussein, Jamel El, 310 
Huxley, Aldous, 142 

India, 216-23 

Indian Friends, 216, 217 

Indian students, 216 

Indianapolis, 78, 98, 143, 144 

Inge, W. D., 103, 123, 129, 131, 206-07, 

255, 259; Letters, quoted, 128-29, 

Ingersoll Lecture, 296, 298 
Inner Life, The (RMJ), 146-47 
Inner Light, see Light, Inner 
Intergovernmental Committee on 

Refugees, 287, 288, 289, 291, 292 
International Conference of Friends, 

International Conference on Religious 

Liberalism, 245 
International Missionary Council, 227 
Ireland, 246 
Isaac T. and Lida K. Johnson Lecture, 

Israel, Wilfred, 285 
Italy, 69, 247 

Jackson, Elmore, 310 

Jacob, Charles, 23, 32, 33, 35, 47, 50, 51, 
55, 138; death, 197 

Jacob, Hattie, 138 

James, Alice (Mrs. William James), 

James, William, 66, 85-86, 87, 103, 108, 
240; death, 133; Principles of Psy- 
chology, 61, 66-67, 86, 103, 133, 240; 
Varieties of Religious Experience, 
103; Pluralistic Universe, 123 

Japan, 209-10, 230, 232, 278, 303-04 

Japanese Friends, 209, 278-79 

Jepson, Jedediah, 18 

Jepson, Susannah, see Jones, Susannah 

Jerusalem, 202, 309-11 

Jerusalem Conference, 227-28, 229 

Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 
see Joint Distribution Committee 

Jews in Germany, 280-81, 283-93 

Johannesburg, 275-76 

John, St., 88, 107, 129, 253 

John of the Cross, St., 261 

John, Gunnar, 306 

Joint Distribution Committee, 175, 176, 

Jones, Abel, 18, 22 

Jones, Alice (sister), 17, 21, 30, 46, 75 

Jones, Augustine, 33, 39, 41, 47, 54, 55, 
57, 68-69, 88, 111 

Jones, E. Stanley, 235, 274, 283 

Jones, Edwin (father), 17, 18, 19, 20, 
21, 24, 46, 75; death, 113 

Jones, Eli (uncle), 21-22, 35, 37, 41, 42, 
46, 47, 49, 57, 59, 60, 71, 202, 310; 
death, 59 

Jones, Elizabeth Bartram, 24, 91, 98, 99, 
100, 134, 137, 150, 152, 154, 184, 190, 
200, 210, 211, 229, 231, 232, 265, 271, 
272, 274, 275, 283, 284, 299, 303, 308; 
personal qualities, 92, 94, 96, 271-72; 
engaged to RMJ, 93; assistance to 
RMJ, 95, 117, 136, 214, 226, 246, 313; 
wedding, 95-96; coronary thrombo- 
sis, 298; letters, quoted, to RMJ, 93, 
94, 95, 97, 122; to her family, 134, 
211, 230; to Mary Hoxie Jones, 192, 
202, 276 

Jones, Frank E., 31 

Jones, Herbert (brother), 21, 46, 60, 
75, 96, 303; death, 197 

Jones, Lowell (son), 64, 67, 69, 71, 73, 
74, 75-76, 88, 89, 90, 98, 99, 111, 210, 
222, 223, 249, 306; birth, 61; death, 

Jones, Madeleine, 299 

Jones, Mary Hoxie (daughter), 122, 
134, 150, 154, 184, 190, 192, 200, 201, 
202, 203-04, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210, 
211, 229, 231, 232, 235, 238, 246, 247, 
264, 265, 269, 282, 312; birth, 111; 
Rufus M. Jones, quoted, 45-46, 111, 
124, 151, 152, 160, 185, 203, 239, 244, 
298, 312, 313; Swords into Plough- 
shares, 269 

Jones, Mary Hoxie (mother), 17, 19, 
20, 27, 32; death, 33 

Jones, Miriam E., 303, 308 

Jones, Peace (aunt), 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 
27, 35, 43, 46, 47, 75, 113, 249 

Jones, Reinhault, Senator, 272 

Jones, Richard, 41, 46-47, 154, 197 

Jones, Rufus M.: birth, 17; prophecies 
about, 17, 27, 28; ancestry, 17-18; 
religious background, 20-25; early 
reading, 23-24; mother's discipline, 
25; injury to foot, 27-28; early edu- 
cation, 30-31; at Providence Friends 
School, 32-34; at Haverford College, 
34-42; choice of career, 39, 42-43, 54; 
teacher at Oakwood, 43-46; engage- 
ment to Sarah Coutant, 46; year of 
study abroad, 47-55; mystical experi- 
ence, 51, 99, 201; teacher at Provi- 
dence Friends School, 56-59; wed- 


34 1 

ding, 58-59; principal of Oak Grove, 
59-61; recorded minister, 60; birth 
of son, 61; editor of Friends Review, 
61, 63-66; instructor at Haverford, 
61, 63, 67-68; travels in midwest, 66, 
69; establishes American Friend, 66- 
69; trip to Europe, 69-73; meeting 
with John Wilhelm Rowntree, 71- 
72; illness and death of wife, 73-75; 
helps to establish Five Years Meet- 
ing, 78-81; engaged to Ellen Wood, 
82; her death, 83; studies at Harvard, 
85-90; associate professor at Haver- 
ford, 89; engaged to Elizabeth Cad- 
bury, 93-95; wedding, 95-96; offered 
directorship of Woodbrooke, 97; 
full professor at Haverford, 98; 
death of son, 99; birth of daughter, 
111; death of John Wilhelm Rown- 
tree, 112-13; undertakes The Quaker 
History, 116; trip to west and mid- 
west, 119-22; trip to Europe, 134-38; 
resigns editorship of American 
Friend, 144; concussion and nervous 
breakdown, 150-55; becomes chair- 
man of A.F.S.C, 159-60; relations 
with Mr. Hoover, 168-83; trip to 
Europe, 173-74; attends All Friends 
Conference, 184-86; accident, 200-01, 
250; trip to Greece and Palestine, 
201-03; trip to China and India, 
208-23; joins Laymen's Foreign Mis- 
sions Inquiry, 228-35; retires from 
Haverford Faculty, 239; in Europe, 
245-47; chairman of Friends World 
Conference, 269-70; South African 
trip, 271-79; mission to Germany, 
280-93; receives Philadelphia Award, 
294; works for Truce of God, 308- 
11; coronary occlusion, 311-12; 
death, 314. 

Literary style, 19, 39, 59, 83, 108; 
love of beauty, 27, 121, 279; stories 
told by, 34, 49-50, 101, 120, 205-06, 
240, 300; personal appearance, 35, 
59; eye-trouble, 45, 46, 48, 52, 64; 
optimism of, 45, 148, 152, 196-97, 
300-01; effect of weather on, 45, 153; 
tendency to depression, 48, 94-95, 
152; omnivorous reader, 48, 138; 
mystical experience, 51, 99, 201, 249- 
50; as teacher, 57, 239-44; relations 
with students, 60-61, 67, 147, 214, 
228, 242-44; honorary degrees, 89, 
137, 196, 247, 269; anecdotes about, 
108, 187, 198, 204, 206, 207, 212-13, 
242, 243, 284-85; collection of books 
on mysticism, 117; asthma, 119-20, 
121, 152; birthdays, 147, 198-99, 230, 

237-38, 271, 297, 307; as chairman of 
a meeting, 160; as historian, 195-96, 
271; role in World War II, 294-95; 
notebooks, 300-01. 

Journal, quoted, 209, 210, 213-14, 
214-15, 217, 219-23. 

Letters, quoted, to: Sarah Coutant 
Jones, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 
54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 62, 71, 72, 73, 
74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 299, 314; Henry J. 
Cadbury, 233, 246; Daniel Coogan, 
Jr., 242-43; Edward Farr, 32, 34, 44; 
Gandhi, 217-18; Violet Hodgkin 
Holdsworth, 134-35, 146, 149, 151, 
154, 157, 167, 175, 187, 193, 197, 257, 
269, 270; Herbert Hoover, 179, 182; 
Elizabeth Bartram Jones, 24, 91, 92- 
93, 94, 95, 97, 114, 115-16, 119-20, 121, 
137, 138, 139, 150, 159, 160, 166, 173- 
74, 211, 212, 283, 287-88; Mary Hoxie 
Jones, 192, 200, 201, 202, 203-04, 205, 
206, 208, 209, 264, 265, 269, 272, 274, 
275-76, 278, 299, 307; Katharine E. 
McBride, 299-300; John R. Mott, 
228-29; George Newman, 109-10, 119; 
James Norton, 177; Marion Edwards 
Park, 232; Clarence E. Pickett, 247, 
275, 276-77, 287; Quaker workers in 
France, 164; Constance Rowntree, 
197; John Wilhelm Rowntree, 95, 
96, 97-98, 99, 101, 109, 111, 112, 117; 
Vida Scudder, 313; Cardinal Spell- 
man, 309; Wilbur Thomas, 210, 215- 
16, 216-17; Elizabeth Gray Vining, 
304; Asa Wing, 191; Ellen Wood, 
19, 81; James Wood, 81 

Jones, Sarah Coutant, 45-46, 47, 51, 55, 
56, 57-61, 64, 67, 69-70, 71; illness and 
death, 73-75; letters, quoted, 56, 58, 

Jones, Susannah Jepson 
(grandmother), 17, 18, 27 

Jones, Sybil, 21-22, 37, 41, 46, 49, 57, 
59, 310 

Jones, Thankful, 17, 18 

Jones, Thomas, 17, 18 

Jones, Virginia, 299 

Jones, Virginia, "Cousin Genie," 154, 
237, 299 

Jones, Walter (brother), 17, 19, 21, 75 

Journal of Religion, 196 

Jung, Carl, 104 

Kagawa, 265 
Kansas City, 119 
Kant, Immanuel, 36, 

Karma, 222 
Kelly, Thomas, 244 

5, 103, 104, 206, 

342 INDEX 

Kempis, Thomas a, 130-31 
Khaldi, Dr., 310 
King, Rufus, 28, 238 
Kinsolving, Arthur Lee, 229 

La Paillette, 50, 51 

La Verna, 127, 226-27 

Later Periods of Quakerism (RMJ), 

192-94; quoted, 193, 196 
Laubach, Frank, 216 
Law, William, 117, 254 
Laymen's Commission, see Laymen's 

Foreign Mission Inquiry 
Laymen's Foreign Mission Inquiry, 

228-35; Report, see Re-Thinking 

Leeds, Morris E., 159, 161 
Leland Stanford University, 119, 296, 

Lewis, C. S., 196 
Lewis, William Mather, 239 
Lie, Trygve, 306 
Lieftinck, Jim, 285 
Light, Inner, 63, 64, 105-07, 108, 129, 

130, 185, 259; see also Mysticism 
Lingnan University, 215, 231 
Lischka, Dr., 290, 292 
Little Flowers of St. Francis, 217, 220 
Litvinov, Maxim, 176 
Lloyd, Jessie, 115 
Lollards, 131 
London, 50, 55, 71, 135, 184, 186, 226, 

246, 287, 288 
London Conference, see All Friends 

London Friend, see Friend, The 

London Yearly Meeting, 50, 69, 70, 80, 

97, 109, 124, 204, 267-68 
Longport, 89 
Lowell, James Russell, 44, 45, 47, 61, 

64, 108; The Cathedral, 49 
Luce, Henry W., 234 
Luminous Trail, The (RMJ), 76, 305- 

06; quoted, 34, 222, 251, 306, 315 
Luther, Martin, 55, 136, 206, 254 
Luxor, 203 
Lytton Commission, 232 

Macdonald, George, 45, 108 
Mackenna, Stephen, 129 
Macmillan Company, The (publish- 
ers), 124, 248 
Madras, India, 216 

Manchester Conference, 69, 72, 82, 113 
Manila, 216 
Marburg, 135-37, 173, 246 

Maria Sorella Minor, 247 

Mary Powell (ship), 47 

Mathews, Shailer, 142 

McBride, Katherine E., 299-300 

McCracken, Henry Noble, 307 

McDougall, William, 123 

McMaster, John Bach, 43 

Meader, Lucy Hawkes, 46 

Meigs, Cornelia: What Makes a Col- 
lege, 188, 189 

Merrill, William Pierson, 231 

Merswin, Rulman, 130 

Miller, Dickinson, 87 

Millin, Judge, 275 

Millin, Sarah Gertrude: God's Step- 
children, 275 

Mohammedanism, 227 

Molinos, 194 

Moorestown, 91, 200-01 

More, Henry, 117 

Morley, Christopher, 239 

Morley, Felix, 157, 299, 304 

Moses Brown School, see Providence 
Friends School 

Mott, John R., 228-29, 265, 310 

Mt. Desert, 152 

Mt. Holyoke College, 192, 206, 209 

Mt. Kisco, 77, 83 

Muni, Paul, 306 

Munsterberg, Hugo, 85, 86, 87 

Murphy, Grayson M.-P., 157, 158 

Murray, Augustus, 40, 119-20, 202 

Murren, 71 

Mustard, Wilfred P., 67 

Mystical experience: nature of, 51, 248, 
250; of RMJ, 51, 99, 201; universal- 
ity of, 259-60 

Mystical Religion, Studies in, see Stud- 
ies in Mystical Religion 

Mysticism, 38-39, 54, 105, 117, 150, 194, 
248; definitions, 84, 251; of RMJ, 84, 
249-62; of St. John, 88, 253; of St. 
Paul, 88, 253; psychic phenomena, 
126-27, 252; affirmative type, 129, 
251-52, 253, 254, 256; place of ecstasy 
in, 128, 251, 252; in groups, 129, 257- 
58; in India, 222; negative type, 251, 
254; of George Fox, 256; of ordi- 
nary persons, 260; of St. John of the 
Cross, 261 

Mysticism and Democracy in the Eng- 
lish Commonwealth (RMJ), 195, 
226; quoted, 253-54 

Mysticism and Its Exponents (RMJ), 

Mystics, 93, 117; ascetic practices, 127, 
256; training of, 128, 260-61; 14th 
century, 248, 279; as religious gen- 
iuses, 259-60 



Napoleon, 55, 272 

Nara, 232 

Nassau, 150-51 

Nation, The (London), 110 

Nation, The (New York), 178 

National Christian Council (China), 

National Christian Council (Japan), 

Nature and Authority of Conscience, 

The (RMJ), 185-86 
Nazis, 281, 282, 291, 293 
Neilson, William Allan, 188, 192 
Neo-Platonism, 128-29, 252 
New England Yearly Meeting, 60, 62, 

78, 81, 312 
New Era Lectures, 226 
New Eyes for Invisibles (RMJ), 296; 

quoted, 107, 137 
New Quest, The (RMJ), 235 
New Republic, The, 180 
New Studies in Mystical Religion 

(RMJ), quoted, 223, 239, 250, 257, 

259, 260, 261-62 
Newberg, 120 
Newman, George, 109, 138-39, 143-44, 

157, 186-87, 237-38, 270 
Newman, Henry S., 71 
Newman, Herbert, 144 
Newton, Joseph Fort, 294 
Nicholson, Vincent, 159, 168 
Nicholson, Dr. William, 78 
Nietzsche, 241, 284 
Nimes, 52, 247 
Nobel Peace Prize, 306-07 
Noble Lectures, see William Belden 

Noble Lectures 
Northeast Harbor, 154, 227, 314 
Norton, James, 177 
Nuttall, Geoffrey F.: The Holy Spirit 

in Puritan Faith and Experience, 141 

Oak Grove Seminary, 30-31, 33, 59-61, 

63, 188 
Oakwood Seminary, 43, 44-46, 48, 49, 

Oberlin School of Theology, 206 
Oregon, 120 
Original Quakerism a Movement Not 

a Sect (RMJ), 302-03 
Otto, Rudolf, 137, 232, 246 
Oxford, 122, 123, 186, 187, 204 

Pacific College, 120 
Pacific Grove, 119 
Paillette, La, see La Paillette 
Palestine, 22, 49, 200, 202-03, 223, 309, 

Palm Beach, 151 

Palmer, George Herbert, 85, 86, 103, 

Palto Alto, 265, 296 

Paracelsus, 276 

Paradon, Jules, 51 

Paris, 55, 165, 247, 284 

Park, Marion Edwards, 191-92, 232, 

Parthenon, 202, 217 

Pasadena, 119, 121 

Pathways to the Reality of God 
(RMJ), 46, 106, 123, 147, 235-36; 
quoted, 106, 195, 251, 258 

Paul, St., 88, 107, 129, 253, 306 

Peabody, Francis G., 88, 154 

Pearson, Andrew W., 166 

Pearson, Ellen Clare, 49, 59 

Peking, 213, 232 

Pendle Hill (South China), 154, 198, 
205, 279, 299 

Pendle Hill (Wallingford), 45, 236, 

Penn, William, 141, 255, 315 

Penn, William, Lecture, see William 
Penn Lecture 

Penn Charter School, 41, 137, 158 

Penn College (Iowa), 89, 121, 225 

Pennsylvania, University of, 42, 66 

Philadelphia, 65, 91, 145, 147, 159, 177, 
207, 238, 280, 292 

Philadelphia Award, 294 

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, see 
Evening Bulletin (Philadelphia) 

Philadelphia General Meeting, 305 

Philadelphia Record, 151, 283, 284 

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hick- 
site), 62, 158, 282 

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Ortho- 
dox), 41, 42, 62, 144, 158, 247, 268, 
282; attitude toward RMJ, 65, 76; 
RMJ's views on, 65, 193 

Philippine students, 216 

Phillips Exeter Academy, 307 

Philosophy, History of, RMJ's course 
in, 67, 76, 239, 241-42 

Pickett, Clarence E., 225-26, 229, 247, 
275, 276, 280, 281, 282, 287, 293, 294, 
295, 309, 310, 311; For More Than 
Bread, 309 

Pietz, Otto, 276 

Plato, 38, 87-88, 103, 128, 202, 206, 241 

Platonism, 87, 227 

Plattekill Meeting, 58, 101 

Plotinus, 88, 128-29, 206, 241, 254, 255 

Poland, 166, 173-74 

Port Elizabeth, 276 

Porter and Coates (publishers), 59 

Practical Christianity (RMJ), 83 

Pratt, Anna, 150 



Pratt, Henry S., 67 

Preface to Christian Faith in a New 

Age, A (RMJ),229 
Present Day Papers, 82, 99, 102, 113 
Present Day Papers, New Ser., 145-46, 

150, 151; quoted, 148-49, 152-53 
Pretoria, 276 
Providence Friends School, 31, 32-34, 

37, 54,55,56, 57,59,88, 111 
Psychology, RMJ's courses in, 66, 76, 

239, 240-41 
Public Ledger (Philadelphia), 188 
Publishers of Truth, 305 
Puritanism, 141 

Quaker History, The, 82, 89, 113, 159, 
185, 187, 192-94, 238; objectives of, 
114, 116; conferences on, 115-17, 122, 
133, 135, 139, 145 

Quaker House (N.Y.), 309 

Quaker Peace Position (RMJ), 296 

Quakerism, 25, 68, 73, 78, 79, 80, 81, 
83-84, 99, 105, 109, 116, 117, 121, 197, 
206, 255-56, 265, 270, 313; in 19th 
century, 22, 25, 57; separations, 35, 
61-63; as a movement, 39, 62, 141, 
144-45, 194, 302-03; in 18th century, 
42; in Philadelphia, 42, 96, 193; evan- 
gelicalism in, 57, 63, 118, 119, 121; 
pastoral type, 63, 65, 66; in U.S.A., 
78, 81, 118-19, 145; position on 
creeds, 80, 118; in England, 97; fore- 
runners of, 116, 125-131, 134, 140-41, 
194; problems of modern, 122; in 
17th century, 130, 140, 255; social 
concern, 131, 144; a mystical reli- 
gion, 194; position on sacraments, 

Quakerism: A Religion of Life 
(RMJ), 124 

Quakers in the American Colonies 
(RMJ), 133-24, 193, 194 

Quarles, Francis, 140 

Queen Mary (ship), 282, 284 

Quietism, 42, 194 

Quinquennial Conference, 78 

Race Street Yearly Meeting, see Phila- 
delphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) 

Radiant Life, The (RMJ), 295, 298; 
quoted, 205, 298 

Ramallah Friends School, 22, 223, 310 

Rashdall, Hastings, 123 

Rauschenbusch, Walter, 110; Chris- 
tianity and the Social Crisis, 103 

Reading Summer School, 139 

Red Cross, see American Red Cross 

Reformation, 140, 254 

Reichsbank, 288, 292 

Religion and Life (RMJ), 211; quoted, 

Religious Book of the Month Club, 

Re-thinking Missions, 233-35 

Re-thinking Religious Liberalism 
(RMJ), 245 

Rhoads, Charles J., 165, 189, 264 

Rhoads, James E., 28, 65 

Rhoads, Lillie, 165 

Rhodes University, 276 

Richards, Theodore, 238 

Richmond (Ind.), 57, 66, 16, 144, 302 

Richmond Conference, 57, 69, 78 

Richmond Declaration of Faith, 57, 69, 

Robinson, John, 18 

Robinson, Peace, 18 

Rockefeller, John D., Jr., 154, 227, 228, 

Rome, 134, 203 

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 266 

Roosevelt (Theodore) Distinguished 
Service Medal, 297 

Rouse, Lydia, 44, 49 

Rowntree, Arnold, 90, 113, 115, 122, 
124, 138, 139, 143-44 

Rowntree, B. Seebohm, 115 

Rowntree, Constance, 89, 112, 113, 124, 

Rowntree, Jean, 204 

Rowntree, John Wilhelm, 69, 70, 78, 
81-82, 89, 90, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 
114, 115, 116, 124, 145, 194, 197, 235, 
237-38, 305, 314; first meeting with 
RMJ, 71-72; gift of books on mys- 
ticism, 117; death, 112-13; letters, 
quoted, to RMJ, 97, 98, 109, 116 

Rowntree, Joseph, 113-14, 115, 123, 139 

Rowntree, Joshua, 114, 115, 124 

Rowntree, Laurence, 197 

Rowntree Trust, 114, 116, 117 

Royce, Josiah, 85, 86-87, 103, 190; 
Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 61; 
Studies of Good and Evil, 87; Reli- 
gious Aspects of Philosophy, 92 

Russell, Elbert, 69, 82; History of 
Quakerism, 118 

Russia, 175-76, 180, 181 

Russian Red Cross, 180 

Ruysbroeck, Jan, 130, 255 

Sabarmati, 218 

Sabatier, Paul, 53 

St. Paul the Hero (RMJ), 196 

Saltmarsh, John, 131 

Sampson, David, 58 

Samuel, Sir Herbert, 202 



Santayana, George, 85, 86, 87-88 

Saranac Lake, 74, 75 

Sayre, Francis B., 308-09, 311 

Scalby, 89, 100, 139, 145, 187 

Scalby Summer School, 115, 117 

Scarborough Summer School, 89-90, 

Scattergood, Alfred G., 172 

Scattergood, J. Henry, 144, 159, 161 

Schacht, Hjalmar, 288, 292; Confes- 
sions of the 'Old Wizard,' 288 

Schmidt, Karl, 39, 53 

Schroeder, Anna Magdelina, 245 

Schuschnigg, Chancellor, 246, 275 

Schwenkfeld, Caspar, 135, 254 

Scotland, 49, 50 

Scott, Albert L., 230, 236 

Scott, Job, 305 

Scudder, Vida, 269, 313 

Scull, David, 64, 69, 72, 81, 188 

Seal Harbor, 154, 227 

Seattle, 296 

Seekers, 131, 135, 140-41 

Selections from the Writings of Clem- 
ent of Alexandria (RMJ), 251 

Service Committee, see American 
Friends Service Committee 

Service of Love in War Time (RMJ), 

Shakespeare, William, 108 

Shanghai, 214, 230, 231, 232, 278 

Shantung, University of, 211 

Sharpless, Isaac, 38, 63, 64, 66, 81, 82, 
89, 97, 98, 144, 146, 151, 238, 314; 
Quakers in the American Colonies, 
134; death, 166 

Shaw, Bernard, 300 

Shepherd Who Missed the Manger, 
The (RMJ), 223 

Sherrill, Henry Knox, 309 

Shewell, Wilfred, 164 

Shibusawa, Viscount, 210 

Sibley, Harper, 230 

Sibley, Mrs. Harper, 231 

Singapore, 277 

Sippell, Theodor, 135-36, 139, 173, 246 

Sistine Madonna, 72 

Slade, William A., 247 

Small Town Boy, A (RMJ), 19, 31, 
297; quoted, 19, 24 

Smith, Ada, 111, 299 

Smith, Logan Pearsall, 36 

Smuts, Jan Christian, 272-75 

Smuts, Mrs., 274 

Social Law in the Spiritual World 
(RMJ), 88, 102-11; reviews of, 108- 
09, 110; quoted, 86, 103, 103-04, 106- 
07, 107-08, 196, 252, 256, 257, 258 

Socrates, 38, 239 

Some Exponents of Mystical Religion 
(RMJ), 129, 226 

Some Pisgah Reflection (RMJ), 297 

Some Problems of Life (RMJ), 265 

South Africa, 271-77; race problem, 

South Africa General Meeting, 276 

South African Friends, 271, 272, 274, 
276, 277 

South China (Maine), 17-31, 33, 42, 46, 
59, 148, 154-55, 160, 198, 205, 206, 
238, 247, 269, 279, 297, 299, 303, 314; 
fire in, 25-26 

Southern Baptist Theological Semi- 
nary, 235 

Southern California, University of, 
School of Religion, 226 

Southern Methodist University, 296 

Southwest Harbor, 152 

Spaeth, Sigmund, 242 

Spain, 266 

Speer, Robert E., 235 

Spellman, Cardinal, 309 

Spirit in Man (RMJ), 295, 298 

Spiritual Energies for Daily Life 
(RMJ), 196 

Spiritual Reformers of the Sixteenth 
and Seventeenth Centuries (RMJ), 
139-42, 146, 193, 253; preparation of, 
134-39; quoted, 140, 141, 250, 258-59 

Stanford University, see Leland Stan- 

Stanley, Charlie, 299 

Stanley, Edmund, 79, 121 

Steere, Douglas V., 244 

Stellenbosch University, 274 

Stimson, Henry L., 297 

Stories of Hebrew Heroes (RMJ) , 145 

Story of George Fox, The (RMJ), 196 

Strasbourg, 53, 246 

Strawn, Silas, 213 

Street Summer School, 114-15 

Studies in Mystical Religion (RMJ), 
123, 124, 125 ff., 135, 193, 248; re- 
views, 126, 132; quoted, 126, 127, 128 4 
129, 130, 131 

Studies in New Testament Mysticism 
(RMJ), 99 

Sturge, Paul, 285, 286, 287 

Summer Schools, 69, 81, 108, 113, 139, 
238; see also Bakewell, Haverford, 
Reading, Scalby, Scarborough, Street, 
Woodbrooke Summer Schools 

Sun (New York), 283 

Sunday Evening Club, Chicago, 296 

Suso, Heinrich, 130 

Swanwick, 137 

Swarthmore College, 196, 269, 270 

Swarthmore Hall, 71 


Swarthmore Lecture, 124, 185, 237 
Swarthmore Press, 1 10 
Switzerland, 69, 71-72, 124, 137 


Union Theological Seminary, 311 

United Nations, 303, 311 

U.S. State Department, 281, 308 

Tai-shan, Retreat on, 211-12, 221 

Taj Mahal, 217, 221 

Tarkington, Booth, 297 

Tauler Johannes, 39, 53, 130, 252, 255 

Taylor, Ernest E., 139 

Taylor, Henry C, 230 

Taylor, Dr. Joseph, 41, 191 

Taylor, Myron, 287, 288 

Tennyson, 71, 101, 108 

Testimony of the Soul (RMJ), 265; 

quoted, 51, 104-05, 250, 251, 253, 260- 

Thayer, Joseph Henry, 86, 88 
Theologia Germanica, 107, 130, 141, 

254, 255 
Thomas, Allen, 40, 66, 82, 238 
Thomas, J. Sneath, 276 
Thomas, James Carey, 65, 76 
Thomas, M. Carey, 65, 68, 95, 97, 187- 

92, 264 
Thomas, Wilbur K., 168, 170, 173, 175, 

210, 215, 217, 225 
Thorp, Fielden, 49 
Tientsin, 214 
Tierney, Agnes L., 95; verses on RMJ, 

Tokyo, 232, 278 
Traherne, Thomas, 140, 254 
Trail of Life in College, The (RMJ), 

41, 235; quoted, 37, 38, 39, 51, 54, 55, 

Trail of Life in the Middle Years, The 

(RMJ), 247; quoted, 66, 79, 83, 86, 

87, 97, 136, 137-38, 143-44, 145, 147, 

190, 195, 241, 244, 251 
Truce of God, 309-11 
Trudeau, Dr., 73 
Trueblood, D. Elton, 244 
Tsinan, 211, 212 
Tsing-tao, 210 

Tweedsmuir, Lord, see Buchan, John 
Twelfth Street Meeting, 40, 77, 3 14 
Twelfth Street Meeting House, 41, 96, 


Underhill, Evelyn, 127, 146, 247, 257; 
Mysticism, 131; Worship, 257 

Uniform Discipline, 80-81, 82 

Union Church (Northeast Harbor), 

Union Medical College Hospital (Pe- 
king), 232 

Union Springs, 43, 44 

Vail, James, 311 

Vassalboro, 30, 59, 60 

Vaughan, Henry, 140 

Vaughan, Robert A.: Hours with the 

Mystics, 39 
Vaux, George, 76 
Venus de Milo, 55 
via negativa, see Mysticism, negative 

Vienna, 246, 281, 289, 290; Friends 

Center, 280 
Vining, Elizabeth Gray, 303-04 
Vital Cell, The (RMJ), 295 

Waite, A. W., 131 
Waldensian movement, 125, 126 
Walton, George A., 238, 281, 282, 284, 

285, 288, 289, 290 
War Victims Relief Committee, 157, 

159, 161 
Washington (D.C.), 96, 157, 158, 162, 

268, 281, 300 
Watts, Arthur, 175 
Weeks Mill School, 30 
Wellington (S.A.), 274 
Wenonah (N.J.), 42 
Wernersville, 70, 73 
West, Jessamyn: The Friendly Persua- 
sion, 19 
West Lectures, 296, 298 
White, Gilbert, 305 
White, Thomas Raeburn, 189 
White, William Allen, 165 
White, Willie, 304-05 
Whitman, Walt, 139, 273 
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 24, 34, 45, 

49, 53, 108, 315; RMJ's estimate of, 

Whittier College, 119 
"Why I Enroll Among the Mystics" 

(RMJ), quoted, 86-87, 87-88, 99, 132, 

201, 253, 254, 256 
Wicksteed, Philip, 100, 139 
Wider Quaker Fellowship, 267-69 
Wilbur, John, 62 

William Belden Noble Lectures, 226 
William Penn Lecture, 295 
Williams, T. Rhondda, 132 
Wilmington College (Ohio), 121 
Wilson, Henry Lloyd, 97 
Wilson, Hugh, 285 
Wilson, Woodrow, 162 
Wing, Asa, 190. 191 



Winslow, Clara, 34 
Winstanley, Gerald, 131 
Witwatersrand, University of, 276 
Wood, Carolena, 77, 83, 170, 171, 185 
Wood, Ellen, 77, 82-83, 84, 92 
Wood, Herbert G., 203 
Wood, Hollingsworth, 77, 144 
Wood, James E., 65, 66, 77, 79, 80, 81, 

83, 144, 185, 189 
Woodbrooke College, 97, 98, 99, 113, 

114, 117, 124, 185, 237, 245 
Woodbrooke Summer School, 100-01, 

Woodsmall, Ruth F., 231 
Woodward Frederic C, 230 
Woolman, John, 187, 262, 315 
Woolman School, 236 
World Conference of Friends, see All 

Friends Conference, 1920; Friends 

World Conference, 1937 
World Outlook (London) , 267 
World War I, 146, 148, 152, 156-65, 


World War II, 294-97; relief and re- 
habilitation, 303 
World Within, The (RMJ), 196 
Wyclifite Movement, 125 
Wyle, Francis, 143 

Yale Divinity School, 206 

Yale University, 247 

Yarnall, D. Robert, 281, 284, 285, 288, 

Yarnall, Stanley R., 90 

Yen, W. W., 213-14 

Yenching University, 212, 213 

York, 49, 204, 205 

Yorkshire, 186-87 

Young Friends Conference: at Swan- 
wick, 137-38; at Jordans, 186 

Young Friends Movement, 305 

Y.M.C.A., 37, 176; in China, 208, 210- 


Zen Buddhism, 232, 261, 301 



Date Due 
Returned Due 


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